By engineering or incompetence, it's going down.
The Affordable Care Act has been controversial since it was first proposed, and now that it is in the home stretch to implementation, the controversy isn't dying down any. The roll-out of the Affordable Care Act's official website, healthcare.gov, was a complete disaster, as hardly anyone was able to access the website, and those who attempted to sign up were met with a site that kept crashing. Since then, more people have been able to sign up for the Obamacare exchanges through the federal website, but even then, those who were able to sign up were met with extremely high premiums for high-deductible policies that would be much, much cheaper on the private market. Throw in the speculation on healthcare.gov's systemic issues, and it's just a bad deal all around.
So what are the advantages of the Affordable Care Act? Why should Americans be excited a program with this many issues right out of the gate?
The promises made about the Affordable Care Act - your premiums will go down, you can keep your doctor, your policy will not change - all turned out to be completely false. Premiums have gone up across America. Doctors are being forced to change what insurances they will accept as they try to meet the burdensome regulations. Many doctors are being forced to drop out of the profession, as they simply cannot meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements and run a profitable business. Insurance policies are being re-written, or just cancelled, as the insurance industry struggles to meet the regulations, as well...and the few people who have been able to sign up for the Affordable Care Act's exchanges have discovered that the policies are extremely unaffordable, low-quality plans that would never have survived in the private sector marketplace.
Why is this? Well, as Nancy Pelosi infamously said, they had to pass the bill in order to find out what is in it...but it goes so far beyond that. Since the bill was passed, tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of regulations have been hefted upon the insurance and medical industries. Not one of these regulations was ever voted on by Congress - one of the great shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act is that it gives the Department of Health and Human Services an open hand to pile regulations on top of regulations, subverting the checks and balances of Congressional approval.
Put all of this together, and there is no way that the American healthcare industry can survive over the long-term. No industry in a free nation could possibly survive the overwhelming burden of this level of regulation, piled on day after day at the whim of the Executive Branch.
Given all of this, there are truly only two real options: Either the Democrats who passed this law without truly understanding it just don't know how our economy works, and are unintentionally destroying America's healthcare industry, or they knew what this bill would do, and what we are seeing is the intentional destruction of American healthcare, with the goal of replacing it with a completely government-controlled single payer system. Both are possible, of course - I wouldn't think that Congressman Hank Johnson, who once speculated as to whether the island of Guam would tip over and capsize if the US military increased its troop presence there, possesses the requisite intelligence to engage in a subversive plot to take over the American healthcare system.
John Glover Roberts, Jr. is the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. He has served since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. | Photo: Associated Press |
This is not to say that America's healthcare system was working swimmingly before the Affordable Care Act came along, but there were some very simple reforms that could have been implemented that would have drastically improved America's healthcare system without destroying it. As it is, Americans are left paying much, much more for much less. In the end, this removes choices from the insurance marketplace, burdens fewer doctors with more patients, and leaves lower and middle-class Americans wondering how they are supposed to be able to afford the unaffordable premiums in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and why they should be fined for failing to purchase an insurance policy that they cannot afford. The idea that the Affordable Care Act just needs a few tweaks in order to work is like a bad joke...like the federal government's website, the flaws are so systemic that it would be more efficient to scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch.