August 1, 2021

APRIL FOOLS DAY

In a ceremony yesterday at the Rose Garden, president Obama announced that more than 7 million Americans have enrolled in Obamacare’s exchanges.    In a speech that has been described in the media as “fiery”, similar to a “pep rally”, or a “victory lap”, our president made some unbelievable statements.    The main contention that the enrollment of 7.1 million persons into the program matches the original CBO’s estimate and their goal is misleading.   

The “at least” 7 million figure originally desired,  referred to the number of uninsured, purchased policy holders, not signees that have yet to pay, and not insured citizens that previously had, and were happy with, policies which were cancelled because they did not comply with the new law requirements.    This parroted success story is yet to be determined, and will only be judged when the real numbers of paid, uninsured enrollees is revealed.    Obama’s announcement continued with statements as “this law has made our health care system a lot better”, “that’s good for our country”,this law is helping millions of Americans”, and it was later accompanied by false attacks like “why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance” followed by “the ACA is here to stay”.    Ignoring the fact that it is the president the one that through administrative feat, has delayed the implementation of the law over 25 times, in effect denying to many the benefits that he claims, the touted accomplishment of the millions of enrollees was only made possible after a campaign-like operation employing thousands of persons, and millions of dollars in advertising.   

Of interest to note, is the mention in The Miami Herald of an, yet to be published, Rand corp. study that points out the figure of 9.5 to 9.8 million uninsured that have likely benefited from the law, including in this number Medicaid, and persons younger than 26 y.o. that were covered by their parents policy.    Astonishingly, the newspaper did not mention the rest of Rand’s findings that acknowledged that only one third of Americans who have signed up in the exchanges were previously without health insurance.    The same report states “too expensive”, as the main reason for the apparent lack of interest to participate.    Also, a prior McKinsey survey done on the first 3.3 million signees, found that only 14% were uninsured, and of those half had yet to pay.   

Another less known fact that countermines yesterday’s surprising speech, is that the clause in the law called “hardship exemption”, has been expanded to include the individuals that lost their insurance due to the new requirements, plus any other persons that feel that there is a good reason for not compliance.   It was made clear that the “honor system” would be exercised in reviewing these excuses, in practicality eliminating the individual mandate.    For those with short memories, it was the same request made by the Republican Party, which was called at the time immoral and unconstitutional.    It would be funny, if not for the importance of the topic.    Obamacare is now a reason to extend “hardship” excuse from the same law, and only the executive, in their minds, have the right to challenge the Constitution.    As written in a conservative blog bwcentral.org, the multiple changes of Obamacare are as if a NASCAR driver in second place was allowed to extend the race 6 more laps to give him a chance to catch up!   

As I wrote this I realized that there was a logical explanation for Obama’s appearance.    It was yesterday, April 1st, APRIL FOOLS DAY!     Not since 1968, when in a Halloween day Orson Wells spoke through the radio about a chapter in his book, War of the Worlds, have the public and the main stream media have been so fooled.

 

Fernando J Milanes MD

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