It has become painfully apparent to everyone that the federal government was far from ready to implement the Healthcare law. What is also becoming painfully apparent is that many officials in the President’s Administration felt appearances were more important than results.
The technological backbone of the Healthcare law is practically useless, rendering people unable to access the exchanges. And the few that have accessed them have little guaranty that their information will be properly processed. And to make things worse, insurance companies are dropping people’s coverage by the hundreds of thousands. Kaiser Health News recently reported:
“Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.”
Not only is the system not working, it is leaving even more Americans uninsured as insurance companies leave the individual insurance market in a mass exodus.
The often repeated charge is that, “Republicans do not care about people, but Democrats do.” At the root of this statement is a simple formula, Democrats generally support the expansion of government “safety-net” programs such as social security, welfare, unemployment benefits, and now the government-backed promise of healthcare for everyone. And Republicans generally support limiting the government’s involvement in many of these programs.
Admittedly, it makes one feel good to know that there is a law in place requiring that everyone have access to “good healthcare.” But as any family attempting to make ends meet knows, good intentions do not pay bills.
Conservatives in general do not support these programs because they know how inefficient government is at providing these critical services. Conservatives support private healthcare options because they want people to actually have healthcare options and not just the paper promise of having access to healthcare.
Just like most federal programs, the new Healthcare law will likely help some folks who are genuinely in need. Also just like most federal programs, it will subject millions of Americans to a costly and highly inefficient system, depriving them of the benefits the private market could have provided. What slowdowns will the rest of the private market experience as the federal government continues to integrate itself into the price-reducing mechanisms of the free market? And will the government actually live up to its end of the bargain? It’s great to have a law in place. It feels good. But does it do good?
When asked by CNN about delaying the Healthcare law’s implementation, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated that it was not an option. She went on to say, “There are people in this country who have waited for decades for affordable health coverage for themselves and their families.” Left between ensuring actual results and going with the appearance of results, the Administration choose the latter.