Jim Clark: Vote Trump to avoid socialized medicine? (opinion)
September 15, 2016
"We have to pass this bill to see what's in it." So said then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at Christmastide 2009 as she and then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid contrived to ram the Affordable Care Act through Congress without a single Republican vote.
It cost Democrats both the Senate and the House in subsequent elections but the liberal dream of a national health care system was finally law.
Why is it that Democrats think they can dictate an unwieldy, unprofitable business structure to private industry and somehow hope against hope that if government throws enough money to subsidize the scheme at its outset it will somehow catch fire and thrive? Any UNR business student could tell the thing is stillborn.
But that's what Team Obama did. Obamacare dictated how insurers would write their health care contracts irrespective of market demand, and punish healthy consumers who refused to rush in with their checkbooks to purchase coverage they didn't want even though such coverage would be "free."
Obama even became the liar-in-chief to sell this snake oil measure ("if you like your current health care plan you can keep your current health care plan … if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period!").
Government agencies also conspired to misrepresent the law's acceptance by counting dental insurance plans in with Obamacare-compliant policies as evidence of public acceptance.
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By the fall of 2013, the extent of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid lies became apparent as insurers sent out over 19 million policy cancellation letters because the old health plans people voluntarily purchased didn't comply with Obamacare's dictates of what a health care policy must cover.
As Dr. Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post at the time: "And then when you find your policy canceled, your premium raised and your deductible outrageously raised, you've learned the real meaning of 'free' in the liberal lexicon: something paid for by your neighbor."
Currently, catastrophic underwriting losses are forcing United Health Care, Aetna and other major insurers out of the Obamacare business.
The Chicago Tribune recently published an obituary for Obamacare as it gasps for life, forcing the sickest Americans to pay crippling costs while the IRS tries to penalize the young and healthy millions who refuse to buy insurance they don't need.
The newspaper attributes the cause of death to: its structure which was guaranteed to fail; hand slap penalties for people who refuse to insure; a complete misunderstanding of the risk pool; mandating that Americans be allowed to sign up after they get sick; failure to tame medical costs; and the inability of insurers losing money to make it up on volume.
As an epitaph, let's hear from a respected third generation Northern Nevadan, John Horgan, MD. In Dr. Horgan's recent Reno Gazette-Journal column, he described his practice of internal medicine in Reno since 1976 which he "enjoyed greatly up until the last few years with the advent of big government medicine."
As he nears retirement, Dr. Horgan is disappointed to find that the other doctors in his practice have been unable to recruit a successor internist. Why? He responds: " … since the advent of Obamacare there is nothing I do for a patient which is not regulated, stamped, approved or denied by the bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services."
He continues: "If we had the old system back with some major changes in the insurance law and some liability reform we would have a free market system back and private practice would survive in the country."
He concludes that if Hillary succeeds, we will have socialized medicine. His prescription? Vote Trump.
Thanks Dr. Horgan for 47 years of caring for Nevadans.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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