November 29, 2021

SHELL GAME

A game, usually involving gambling, in which a person hides a small object underneath one of three nutshells.     A fraud or deception perpetrated by shifting conspicuous things to hide something else.

 

As I was growing up, I was exposed one day to this fraudulent game and lost a few dollars.    I learned my lesson then.    At present, I am wise enough to not let myself be fooled by the political shell game played by our President, using Obamacare as the equivalent of the small objects.

 

If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it.    Period.  

 

Under the first shell; the reason for the cancellations was the fault of the insurance companies.

Under the second shell; what the President meant was that you could keep them, with the exception of the subpar and/or the more expensive ones offered.

Under the third shell (today); the reason I said that, was because the only people affected were going to be 2% of the population.   I am sorry for that.

If you are betting on “I lied because of the oncoming elections”, you lose the game.    CBS Major Garrett had the best question and it remained unanswered “Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said that over and over when your own statistics alerted your policy staff — and I presume you — to the fact that millions of Americans would, in fact, probably fall into the very gap you’re trying to administratively fix right now?”

 

“The affordable Care Act is the law of the land, confirmed by the Supreme Court, and cannot be changed.”

 

Under the first shell; Obama postpones the business mandate for one year.

Under the second shell; by executive power many businesses, religious groups, and unions are exempted from the law, given reprieves or as in Congress case subsidies.

Under the third shell (today); the ACA rules that forced Insurance companies to cancel policies to individuals will not be applied at least for a year.    Insurance companies and States can reissue these policies.

If you are looking for, “the Constitution and its separation of powers prohibit me from changing laws.   You “the people” have to live with it”, you lose.

The fact is that the only way the Obamacare law works is by having all of the individual policies expire, forcing everyone in that market to buy a plan that will abide to the laws regulations, whether these are needed by the consumer or not, and pay a more expensive premium and deductible.    This added income, plus the one generated by more costly premiums to businesses and the addition of younger, healthier persons to the market is needed as a way of paying for the added requirements as “preexisting conditions, etc”.     Anyone, like me, that followed Ms Nancy Pelosi’s advise and “read the law to see what’s in it”, realized that the way this project was written was doomed to fail.    As a personal advice to Republicans, I would say that their best option is to let this disaster fail on its own, to leave the criticism and propose changes to Democratic legislators, and avoid the temptation of the “I told you so”.

Instead, I would offer an alternative that could include all or a mix of several options that would be based in free market and individual responsibility.    Start by the idea espoused by none other than Ezekiel Emanuel of eliminating Medicare, Medicaid, Private insurers, and issue vouchers.

Every household in America will receive a voucher entitling its members to enroll in a private health plan of their choice. All plans will be required by law to guarantee the basic features of what most Americans now receive from their insurers: doctors’ visits, hospitalization, pharmaceuticals, and catastrophic coverage.

Limiting his idea to the poor, disabled and elderly.

Letting private insurers respond to free market forces, limited regulations, across the States competition.

Tort reform to avoid defensive medicine.

Health centers that should include urgent, primary, secondary care.    Hospitals staffed by salaried professionals, like the Veterans Health System.

A scaled payment system that would prohibit free care for persons that can pay, and a health savings account tax policy similar to the retirement IRA’s.

Any of these measures and/or a combination of these will keep the best facets of our system, that in contrast of what President Obama claimed today, is favored by an overwhelming majority of the population.

And to our leader that would like to be King, on his statement to allow the more than five million policy holders that received cancellation notices to reenroll, a final word;

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

 

 

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