Fixing the website isn't a real fix.
For years now, the debate over health care has raged in American politics, but the odd and somewhat ironic thing about the ongoing debate about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is that it isn't really about health care at all. Obamacare is all about health insurance; as if insurance is the be-all and end-all to fixing America's health care system.
Since the complete and utter failure that was the Healthcare.gov rollout in early October, the primary focus of the Obamacare debate has been on the failings of the federal website - and while the problems with the website are many and the most visible reminder of just how bad Obamacare is, the problems with the website only represent a few of the higher-level problems that live on the surface of the Affordable Care Act.
This is the thing that Americans need to remember as Obamacare continues to move forward: even if the Obama administration manages to fix the Healthcare.gov website by the end of November, as they initially promised, or even if they fix it by the end of the year or sometime next year, fixing the website will not even begin to fix all that is wrong with the Democrats' health care law.
In response to tremendous public pressure - primarily in the form of dropping poll numbers and degrading support from his media allies, President Obama announced what has widely been dubbed an "administrative fix" to the widespread issue of Americans' individual health plans being cancelled by their insurance companies. His "fix," like pretty much every other "fix" that Democrats have proposed thus far, involves pushing off the problem until after the next election cycle. With no legal authority to do so, President Obama decided to decree that, for another year, insurers may renew health plans that do not live up to the over-stringent requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act.
This royal decree in no way means that the millions of Americans who have already lost their insurance due to Obamacare will be getting their health plans back - that ship has sailed, and Obama's "fix" leaves little motivation for insurers to spend the next couple of months trying to reset their systems back to pre-Obamacare policies after spending the last three years retooling everything to comply with Obamacare's thousands of new rules and regulations - especially considering the fact that the one-year delay means that they will just have to go through all of this again next year.
And that is the real insult that this "fix" represents for all Americans: President Obama promised at least 32 separate times that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," and the whole point of this "fix" is for the president to respond to public pressure after breaking that promise...but all the "fix" truly does is to delay further damage to President Obama and other Democrats' reputations and election chances until after the 2014 midterms. Once again, the only thing the politicians seem truly interested in fixing is their ability to hold on to their political power. It is really no different from the president's last "fix," which involved a similar delay - he decided to delay the employer mandate for one year, which will do absolutely nothing to fix the damage that the mandate will cause, other than insulating Democrats' election chances, since the damage won't kick in until after the election is over.
This is the root problem with the Affordable Care Act, and why a "repeal and replace" strategy is the only fix that will truly work: every provision, rule, regulation, and statute in Obamacare is geared, intentionally or not, to make health care and insurance more expensive for every American. President Obama promised many times that Americans would see their insurance premiums going down by $2,500 annually, but most Americans will be lucky if they only see their premiums increase by that much. This makes the Affordable Care Act inherently unaffordable, and no amount of delays or website fixes will correct this fundamental flaw in the Democrats' plan.
And even after all of these issues, there are the changes to Medicare policy that will serve to complicate matters even further. Physicians will be paid less for Medicare patients under Obamacare, which has already led doctors to stop accepting Medicare patients - why should they, when they stand to lose money every time they see a patient or perform a procedure? Aside from yet another delay, the only "fix" that Democrats could implement for this issue is to require doctors to accept Medicare patients, and all that will accomplish is to put physicians out of business. So much for Obama's other promise, that you can keep your doctor.
Never before in the history of our nation has it been acceptable to pass such a horribly broken law with the goal of tweaking it over and over again to fix its many, many flaws. But throughout the mess that has been created since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the only tweaks (or twerks) that the President Obama and his Democrat cohorts seem truly interested in are cosmetic changes that don't actually fix anything, but are designed to minimize the political fallout over the Act's fundamental flaws.
Minimizing the damage to our health care and health insurance industries by the Affordable Care Act can only be accomplished by getting rid of the Act as quickly and as completely as possible. Fixing the website will in no way correct the law's fundamental flaws. Delaying the law's worst provisions until after the next election cycle will not spare the people of America from the hardships that this Act creates. It is truly sad that so many Americans were hoodwinked into believing the promises of sunshine and lollipops brought to us by our political overlords, and it is only now, after we have passed the bill and begun to find out its true consequences, that people are beginning to realize the depth of the lies and deceptions that went in to selling Obamacare to the American people. In the meantime, all of the predictions from those who were deemed naysayers, detractors, racists, and fear-mongers are coming to pass. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents one of the greatest lies ever foisted upon our nation, and this should be remembered each and every time we are told that "the product is good."