'The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act'. 'PPACA' for short.
That is what Obamacare started out being called as it went its way through Congress in 2009 before being signed into law in 2010. It is now just the 'ACA' for real short.
We would like to propose a new name for it: 'Unaffordable Group Healthcare'.
'UGH' for short.
We understand the purpose of the ACA: Help people now uninsured be able to get health care insurance coverage. That has been the Holy Grail of health care and budget wonks for decades now in America.
However, we also learned in Washington about the 'Law of Unintended Consequences'. It ALWAYS 100% applies to every single piece of legislation, regulation and rule-making that has ever been done in Washington or ever will be done in Washington.
Mankind just is not omniscient. No matter how hard we try.
535 American lawmakers in Congress plus a President in the White House just can not be smart enough to imagine and prepare for every decision made by 310 million citizens, each of whom make thousands of rational cost/benefit decisions for themselves each and every single day of their lives.
In 2010, the Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate passed the 'UGH' and President Obama proudly signed it into law.
Now we are finally starting to learn 'what was in the 2000+ page bill' which is why then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we 'had to pass the bill in the first place'.
And it is chock full of 'unintended consequences' (or maybe not? Maybe it was fully intended 'consequences' as the first step towards single payor health in America after the private sector health insurance market was totally destroyed?....hmmm...we wonder)
Obamacare has gotten off to a dreadful start. When the late night comics lead every single night with another scathing attack on 'UGH', including former cheerleader Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, well, that is like LBJ lamenting the loss of Walter Cronkite when Cronkite declared that the Vietnam War was simply unwinnable.
Please take a good long hard look at this piece by Chris Conover an expert in health care at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and Fuqua School of Business and a contributor to Forbes Magazine before you do anything else today: 'No, David Axelrod, 'The Vast Majority of People In This Country' Are Not Keeping Their Plan'
In it, he details exactly why close to 129 Million people in this nation are most likely to lose their existing health care coverage, including the 16-18 million who have already had notices sent to them from their insurance companies notifying them that their individual health plans, such as the HSA we were on, are not 'UGH-compliant'.
He also points out how the vast majority of people who now think they are 'safe' from the ravages of UGH because they are on a corporate health plan are probably soon going to be dumped into the exchanges by their employer when the employer realizes he/she can make millions more flow to their bottom line by simply paying the tax penalty for each employee each year and saving about $6000-$8000 per employee by ending their corporate sponsored health plan.
After all, a business is in business to make money. Not to be a health care coverage dispensing machine like some Coca-Cola or Pepsi soda machine in the break room.
Believe it or not, we actually don't blame President Barack Obama or his wife Michelle. They were pretty open about what they intended to do in 2008 if they won the White House with these following comments:
- 'We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.' — Michelle Obama, May 14, 2008
- 'We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.' — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008'
If you are unhappy about the loss of your individual plan, or the pending loss of your corporate plan, or the doubling or tripling of your health care costs at any age, but especially in the 26-40 age cohort, and you voted for this 'fundamental change' in 2008, you have no one else to blame but yourself.
The only thing you can do next is to vote against every incumbent still sitting in the US House or Senate who voted for UGH in the first place and replace them with someone who will repeal it and/or vote to substantially reduce it and change it in a radical manner.
Voting for an untested, unseasoned freshman Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama in 2008 might have seemed to be historic in nature to you at the time.
Well, it certainly has proven to be 'historic' in many ways so far: NSA; IRS; wiretapping; Benghazi and the list goes on. UGH might be his most enduring 'historic' trademark going forward. Mostly bad.
Just watch and see.