Rarely has a bill passed by Congress endured as many nicknames, both positive and negative, as The Affordable Care Act of 2010. Obamacare, Nationalized Healthcare, Socialized Medicine, even The Abominable Care Act… the list seems endless, as do the tentacles of this far-reaching 2000-some-page law, not to mention the stacks of enabling regulations that already tower over the average homeowner’s foreclosed house.
But the critics and skeptics must admit at last, four years after its passage, that the program is working far beyond the wildest dreams of its supporters.
Despite almost daily, almost laughable website crashes, holes in its security that a terrorist could drive a truck through, and a cadre of “navigators” who know nothing about healthcare but everything about vote fraud and identity theft, the Affordable Care Act is nevertheless, slowly but surely, racking up applicants, at least some of whom reportedly are paying for their policies. Nothing ensures volunteerism quite like a healthy fear of fines and imprisonment.
Sure, shout the skeptics, doctors and nurses are retiring or changing careers at a record clip. The statistics don’t lie. But the medical practice is about so much more than, well, having medical practitioners.
Sure, the naysayers report with alarm, hospitals and clinics, urgent care facilities and specialist offices, are closing from coast to coast, as the plummeting payment rate from a bankrupt and undependable government turns once-successful healthcare providers into paupers. Healthcare is about so much more than, well, health care.
And sure, the insurance companies that were suckered into supporting this program are now suffering in a way that even the conservatives didn’t predict, because the economics of this program have been even worse in every way than anybody had predicted. They’re suffering some severe losses, as the administration changes the playbook on a weekly basis, ever requiring more from the insurance companies, ever compensating them for it less. But health insurance is about so much more than, well, the millions of Americans who were formerly gainfully employed in the once profitable industry of the sale, management, and delivery of insurance services.
No, on this day, this very special day, one day after the final day to sign up on the government website for this amazing program, let’s toast to its success.
Let’s delight in the benefits of a program that defies the laws of economics and of human nature, a program in which you can buy insurance after you already have the malady you’re insuring against… a program in which 40 million more people can get a better product for less money than 40 million fewer had paid for it before… a program in which you can serve more people, better, with fewer providers… in which driving healthcare costs above housing costs is considered an achievement… a program in which we cheer the millions who've allegedly signed up, while conveniently failing to acknowledge the tens of millions of the formerly insured, who are being thrown off their plans at the same time... a program in which the nonworking get better benefits for less money than the working do, in which illegal aliens can enjoy greater privileges than natural citizens of what was once the greatest economy on earth.
Let’s raise a toast to the ACA – to Obamacare – on this warm spring day, this April 1, 2014, the only day of the year when up is down, when bankruptcy is success, when underemployment is championed and denying cures to the sick is considered "liberation."
Yes, let’s cheer Obamacare, this job depressant, this industry-crippler, this toxic pandemic. Let’s rejoice in its success, on the one day of the year when the laws of Supply and Demand no longer apply, the one and only day when the economic policies and philosophical sophistry of the modern Democratic Party make perfect sense.
Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago based international trade compliance manager, trainer, columnist and actor. His columns appear regularly in Illinois Review.
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