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Obamacare’s Games For Stakeholders And The Unintended Consequences

Posted Jul 21 2013 6:07pm
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACP

I can’t help remembering Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”

The public didn’t like Obamacare to begin with.

Each day “we are finding out what is in it.”

Each day it gets worse despite the fact the President Obama keeps saying Obamacare is great and will save us money. Americans do not believe him.

If you are a big government control advocate, the ideology of Obamacare could be applauded.

Practically, Obamacare is naïve and an impending “train wreck.” Unintended consequences keep appearing because of defects in the theory and poor design.

Patients, the healthcare care insurance industry, physicians, hospital systems, and drug companies could have predicated these unintended consequence if they knew what was it the bill at its passage. Those who did understand the Accountable Care Act (Obamacare) hated the act at its passage.

Many of my progressive friends blame the problems Obamacare is having on Republicans.

I think they are getting that idea because the New York Times and its editorial op-ed writers that are making that claim. However, the New York Times offers no concrete proof.

Obamacare is failing on it own. Its implementation gets harder and more expensive each day.

On July 12, James Hoffa of the Teamsters (1.4 million members), Joseph Hansen of the Food and Commercial Workers (1.3 million members) and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE (200,000 members, mostly culinary and hotel workers) wrote to complain about the president's Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare is destroying the 40-hour workweek unions worked many years to achieve.  Employers are hiring part time employees to replace full time employees that had been laid off because of the recession.

Employers are doing this to avoid a $2,000 penalty for not providing healthcare insurance for each employee.  

The majority of the job growth figure of 195,000 for June consisted of part time job growth.

Union leaders are correct. Obamacare "creates an incentive to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week."

After all, employers can avoid a $2,000-per-worker penalty if they don't provide mandated insurance as long as employees work fewer than 30 hours a week.

" Union leaders have realized—too late—that ObamaCare will affect the livelihood of millions of workers who wait tables, wash dishes, clean hotels, man registers, stock shelves and perform other tasks that can be limited to shifts of less than 30 hours a week."

White house Press Secretary Jay Carney said it "is belied by the facts."

Once again he was lying. He used 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers to answer the complaint.

“So far this year, as ObamaCare is being implemented, full-time employment has grown at an average monthly rate of 21,700 while part-time employment has increased an average of 93,000 a month.”

These are terrible numbers that belie Jay Carney’s “facts.”

 Three big unions worry that the health law will hurt their members' benefits and paychecks.

The letter to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid was unusually harsh.

The letter was not from Mr. Obama's GOP adversaries but from the president’s allies, the big three most powerful unions. A fourth union joined the group a few days later.

The unions finally realized that Obamacare was going to cut unions out of some government subsidies. Obamacare makes a unionized workforce more expensive for employers.  It makes it less attractive for workers to join unions.

"Millions of union workers, the letter notes, are covered by nonprofit health plans jointly administered by employers and unions, and won't qualify for ObamaCare's generous taxpayer subsidies."

This will drive union members out of their unions.

Further, the unions nonprofit insurance plans are subject to "Obamacare’s new 2-3% tax on each insurance policy they place."

The union wants their members exempt from this tax because the union will be forced to pass it on to their members. Members will be forced to use the health insurance exchanges to buy their healthcare insurance.

Unions are starting to realize the goal of Obamacare is to force everyone into his “Public Option” that will default to a single party payer. The result will be complete government control of the healthcare system.

There are three insurance options in the health insurance exchanges. Citizens will buy the cheapest “affordable option.”  The deductibles will be high. Citizens will have to pay deductibles out of pocket decreasing their purchasing power.

Republicans are enjoying this meltdown. They want Obamacare repealed.

House Republicans say their goal is to repeal President Obama's health care law, not to present an alternative plan.”

This is a big mistake on the part of the Republicans. Republicans do not have a viable substitute to repair the dysfunctional healthcare system.

" Every voter knows what Republicans are against. They don't know what they're for" on health care, said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who heads House Democrats' campaign committee.”

  “He said the strategy would haunt Republicans next year among moderate and independent voters who want changes, not outright repeal.”

Republicans need an innovative alternative to Obamacare that will work and excite the public.  They need a plan that will put consumers in charge of their health and healthcare dollar. Consumers do not want a healthcare system that puts the government in charge of their health.

Consumer driven healthcare with my democratic ideal medical savings account should be adopted by the Republican Party to replace Obamacare.

Republicans must take a stand and help Americans avoid Obamacare’s impending disaster to our economy, job growth and financial viability. 

Republicans must show Americans that they care about them and have a viable solution to our healthcare systems problems.

Otherwise as President Obama said this week, “he will blow right through it” as he has done in the past.

 Now that Americans are waking up it is time for the Republican leadership to start waking up and fight back effectively.

 The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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