Letter: The thorns in Obamacare’s bouquet
I must respond to Charles Thompson’s letter in the Sept. 26 edition of the Gazette-Journal ("Individual parts of Obamacare are very popular"). Mr. Thompson praises the roses in Obamacare, but somehow neglects the thorns. Yes, there are some points to the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" that we would all favor (such as covering pre-existing conditions at birth, which the opposition plan also favors), but there are some truly prickly thorns not touted.
Such thorns include the thousands of small businesses (small businesses employ the majority of Americans) that are laying off employees to stay under the 50-employee limit, or that are cutting back full-time workers to under 30 hours to avoid the mandated insurance they must otherwise provide, or the employers who are dropping health insurance altogether and paying the fine. (Ask an affected employee how he/she is enjoying the benefits of Obamacare.)
Mr. Thompson is correct in stating that there will be an increased need for medical professionals, especially with the projected 10 to 12 million new patients to be added to the rolls. Where will these doctors come from? Several senior (the ones with the most experience and expertise) physicians I have spoken with are planning early retirement to avoid the regulatory problems and restrictions. Fewer than 2 percent of those in medical school now plan on becoming family practice doctors, preferring instead the path of specialization. This patient/physician disparity will become a very big thorn. (Ask your doctor for his/her take on this issue.)
As for "If you like your present insurance, you can keep it," government exchanges will undercut private insurers (to "keep prices down"), eventually forcing private insurers out, leading to a single-payer system, which was the original intent all along. (Where will also those private insurer jobs go? More government jobs, perhaps?) Do you really want your medical insurance handled a la DMV or IRS? Especially with the bureaucrats deciding who gets what care and who doesn’t. Ouch! Another thorn.
What about Medicaid expansion? Sure, "free" money flowing in for now, but when the federal money fades away, as planned, Virginia will be left paying the bill forever—yearly thorns.
Mr. Thompson says he favors good health at a reasonable cost. Obamacare is neither. If it is such a good deal, ask yourself why are so many exemptions being requested and granted to large organizations favored by the Administration, and heavy subsidies proposed for Congress and their staff? Perhaps this bouquet doesn’t smell so good after all.