The facts of the marketplace

The CBS Evening News had this most recent poll that President Obama has this 39% approval rating based mainly on the idea of how “honest and trustworthy” he happens to be. Well, no politician is perfect, and plenty of Presidents have been less than honest or trustworthy, and the voting public returns them to office. President Obama is in his final term in office, so what? Oh, and it is not “Obamacare,” which CBS Evening News insists on calling it. It is the Affordable Care Act. Yes, the web site “” is full of glitches and the people hired to do the work, could have done a better job. Yes actually, major carriers of health insurance policies suddenly decided to cancel their policies sold to numerous customers. It is called, they didn’t want to lose their profits actually having to pay for something, they wanted to exclude from their customers/patients to begin with. So now, Obama can be “blamed (!)” for the vagaries of the marketplace. He isn’t honest enough or trustworthy now, because the ACA that was a “market based solution” to our health care costs; regardless, the marketplace decides to bow out. Nor can (as CBS Evening News finally admits) the ACA by itself, actually compel these insurance companies to do anything. Not unless there is coordination between state governments and the federal government to compel them to. One item of interest discussed on that broadcast, not likely to happen. So yeah, I’ll agree that President Obama was probably wrong to say that people could keep their current policies period. But there is still no helping the fact that the insurance industry then said, “We’ll beg to differ.”

How about that, there are limits to the federal government after all. Now, who among us (including my readers) would recall the GOP arguing the need for portable insurance, no matter what state you lived in. If say, you live in Montana and like Virginia’s insurance plans better, because they were likely cheaper, then you could buy the insurance plan from that state. Obviously, the portability of insurance from one state to another, never became part of the ACA bill. Now, what if it had? I’d suggest that the same insurance companies would not have complied with the portability of insurance any more than they are willing to comply with “no pre-existing conditions.” Called, they would have outright rejected the idea of that kind of competition. State to state, insurance carriers within the state, would have set up roadblocks to any such implementation. Shall we say that the GOP held an idealist view of the market that was actually at odds with the reality? A lot of people, might have forgotten about the kind of health care reform, that the GOP touted. I also figure that the GOP only came up with this idea, whether they knew or didn’t know that it might not even work, only because of their political rejection of the Democrat in the oval office. Effectively, the ACA can support to some extent, the portability of insurance policies state to state. It is through the state by state run health exchanges. Otherwise, the portability of insurance, as the sole idea of health care reform coming from the GOP side of the aisle? It would have still required a big government interference, to eliminate the road blocks the insurance companies would have set up. You don’t hear about that kind of idea any longer as the GOP go into a hissy fit about the bad website. On social media and elsewhere, are screams of incompetency. Well, that would seem to suggest, that the people screaming now, “must have” wanted that big government intrusion into the marketplace? And when that intrusion didn’t “go off” as planned, now they want to express all this disappointment. At this point, the (old) left might have the better argument, a simple single payer option rather than the federal government trying to make itself a member of the marketplace.

Which brings us to this next point, the argument of “if government were run more like a business.” CBS Evening News doesn’t exactly ask probing questions, now does it? Through the hard facts of the ACA as an example, government did attempt to run itself more as a business. I.E. the health care business. Plenty of GOP types did argue that government ought to be a major corporation and actually be run as one. Through health care reform, we could say that the government under President Obama took its first baby steps in that direction. So, what happened? Then I’d suggest to any and all future presidential wannabes and actual candidates, don’t ever again suggest that government should be run more as a business or corporation; it doesn’t work.

Health care costs have become too high for what they are worth. Insurance premiums and co-pays were already unaffordable for a good many people. Understandably, a major effort should have been made to actually reform the system. But the moment you step into the middle of the complexities of the marketplace, expect a turf war to develop. That is what we are seeing now. And no, we can’t actually fault the President because of the facts of its existence. And it isn’t as though such turf wars hadn’t happened before. When labor unions finally won certain concessions from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s government in the 1930’s, many cries of “communism and socialism” came from the business interests who would now have to pay more toward these labor union demands. I am sure that at the time, if those very business interests wished to bow out with their own “I beg to differ,” then they did. With a lot more government intrusion through perhaps the judicial system itself, until those business interests were finally forced to comply. I have no doubt that the ACA will go through a period of rocky years. However, I also know this, people want more affordable health care. They don’t want to go bankrupt, at trying to treat medical conditions, that the “health” insurance industry suddenly decides it doesn’t want to pay for. The other market fact, what the customer demands. So, if these major insurance carriers don’t want to do business under the ACA, then they should close up shop. Or sell their company to the people who will.


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