Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Perspective - The Virtues of the ACA aka Socialized Medicine
IN PERSPECTIVE by Bill Neinast
Some class warriors should be ashamed of themselves. Those are the ones who were clamoring for “fairness” through socialistic control and distribution of the nation’s wealth. When they started getting exactly what they were pleading for, they turned tail and began attacking those who were granting their wishes.
This complete turn about is seen in the reaction to ObamaCare by those liberals who are losing their medical care insurance, or their favorite doctor, or both as the socialists in Washington take control of 17.6% of the GDP.
The first problem is the misnomer of the program that is causing all the grief. The official name is the Affordable Care Act. One of the Health and Human Services web sites describes this Act as putting consumers back in charge of their health care.
The Act, however, has nothing to do directly with health care. What it does is require some people to pay, or at least help pay, for others’ health care. It either provides free health care through Medicaid funded by tax payers, uses tax money to pay subsidies to some who cannot afford all of their insurance premiums, or requires young people to buy insurance that they do not want or need so that insurance companies can afford to provide medical insurance to older people with serious medical problems.
The only effect that use of other people’s money has on medical care is that it will increase the work loads of physicians, medical clinics, and hospitals. How that will make medical care more “affordable” is a good question.
What it does is make medical care free (Medicaid and subsidized insurance) for many more. As with anything that’s free, lines at the trough holding the goodies of free medical care will swell. Now when junior just has the sniffles, he will be rushed off to the doctor because it’s free.
I know this from experience. I lived with “socialized” or free medical care for 27 years of active duty in the Army. Friends would take their children to the clinic for the sniffles and admit that they would not do so if there was a charge for the service.
A battalion surgeon told me that he could cut his work load in half if he were allowed to install a lie detector at his front door. He knew whenever a unit was scheduled for field exercises or some other unpleasant activity simply by the number of soldiers from that unit waiting at his doors when they opened each morning. It was so much easier and more pleasant to sit in the doctor’s waiting room than to face the rigors of a tent in the summer heat or freezing rain.
Some of the ardent supporters of socialism are already beginning to realize exactly what the socialization of medical care means for them. As that movement begins to affect them personally and directly, their ardor for big government taking care of everything is beginning to wane.
Those who have had their medical insurance of long standing cancelled because it does not include some coverage that know-it-all bureaucrats in Washington now require are beginning to criticize the authors of this latest step in socialization. Their chorus of criticism is being joined by other class warriors who are learning that their doctors of long standing are no longer available to them because they are not among the physicians allowed by socialized medical care.
The unhappy socialists are finally beginning to understand why one of their gurus, Nancy Pelosi, said the law had to be passed before they could read it. If even the most obtuse had waded through the reams of paper needed to print the law, maybe they would not have been so eager for its enactment. Now they are joining Republicans to grumble about this intrusion of the government into their private affairs.
Conversely, Republicans should be ecstatic about the Affordable Care Act. There could be no better example or teacher of the loss of freedoms that are characteristic of big government. Every adult who does not qualify for a free medical care program paid for by the government or someone else, is experiencing first hand what it means to have the government direct exactly how he will care for himself and his family.
He is now required to have medical care insurance without regard to whether he wants it or thinks it is not needed. The insurance has to be paid from either his pockets or his neighbors‘ pockets. The insurance must cover specific conditions without regard to the possibility of need, e.g., a 60 year old woman required to have maternity care coverage.
When the costs and effects of ObamaCare finally register with every adult, there should be an immediate revulsion of the thought of socialism.
So here’s the perspective.
The Affordable Care Act gives class warriors exactly what they clamor for on a daily basis. So they should quit complaining.
Republicans, however, should at least welcome the hands-on training for living under socialism that the Act provides. That may slow the continuing shift in that direction.