, Salem, MA

October 8, 2013

Letter: Obamacare was a failure from day one

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

It’s relatively easy to provide a litany of “Many factors (that) weave into our economic crisis” (Brian Watson column, Oct. 2). The real trick is to do something about them. This is where the government, especially this administration, fails and proves itself dysfunctional. The Affordable Care Act is an oxymoron (like a “civil war”), and the most recent and enduring example of ineptness.

You just knew ACA was not good from day one when:

Although the initial bill included Congress and government employees, I like to believe it was once ACA passed and someone read it that they realized what they had done to themselves and applied for and got a dispensation from Obama. But we’re still stuck with it.

All the FOO (Friends Of Obama) got exemptions, delays and/or waivers.

Union leaders held closed-door meetings at the White House “to express their concerns.”

The secretary of health and human services is “motivating” the health care industry to finance her “information” campaign.

Employers are incentivized to cut back working hours to 30 to avoid having to offer health insurance and, thus, load up the government system. Smooth move in the middle of a recession!

So, what’s left? The individual mandate, which really is a tax (so defined by the Supreme Court) on the young and healthy to finance the cost to support the voting base of the party that railroaded the bill through. The irony of this situation is the young and healthy have the highest unemployment rate because the economy was ignored to pass ACA. Thus, they don’t have the money to buy Obamacare!

Obama and Harry Reid digging in their heels up to their kneecaps and refusing to talk (they’ve said nothing about negotiating) until the continuing resolution is passed with full funding for ACA and the debt ceiling limit is raised is chutzpah in the extreme. (This is straight out of Putin’s playbook — promise them anything and keep them talking.) Their egos cannot admit the ACA is a disaster in process and it’s time to scrap it and start all over. Even Warren Buffet agrees. And this time work together and do it right.

I agree that health care is ripe for significant improvements, but tinkering with the insurance is not the way. Health care is expensive and unaffordable without insurance because of the cost of the doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and tort lawyers and malpractice insurance. (Always liked the line from Newsweek — if you don’t like the cost of malpractice insurance, stop mal-practicing!) That’s where the effort should be.

On the broader picture, compare the recovery from the post-World War I crash with the 1929 crash. In the first, we worked our way out with innovative products (George Westinghouse’s AC electricity; Henry Ford and the Model T; etc.); in the second, we tinkered our way into World War II.

Quantitative easing forever is a scheme to jack up the stock market at the cost of destroying the value of the dollar. The Federal Reserve doesn’t earn money nor does it have the power to tax. So where does it get the $85 billion each month to buy treasury bonds?

Let’s have an educated, intelligent debate and not resort to partisan sound bites.

George Binns