To the editor:
Now that the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect, we can begin to see how unworkable many predicted it to be. The government insurance exchanges website, where one needs to go to purchase health insurance, went online on Oct. 1, and the website has been difficult to access or to navigate. These glitches caused the site to be shut down for repairs even though the government has had three years to prepare.
People who have been able to get through and investigate insurance plans have found the plans to not only be costly but to include high deductibles. One plan, for example, cost $100 per month with a $5,000 deductible for a yearly cost of $6,200. President Obama promised premiums would decrease by $2,500. The president also promised that people would be able to keep their doctor, but many are being dropped from their employer plans and sent to the government exchanges.
This law has proven to be so unmanageable that President Obama has unilaterally granted over 1,000 waivers to favorable groups, provided insurance subsidies to members of Congress and their staffs, and delayed the employer mandate for one year. However, the president is sworn to uphold the law, and cannot change or amend any law or part thereof without the consent of Congress through legislation. Clearly, the president is acting unconstitutionally.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed a budget bill that includes delaying the individual mandate, just as the president has delayed the employer mandate, and rescinding the congressional insurance subsidy. Because the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected this bill, the government is in a partial shutdown.
The Republicans, who had no input into the writing of the Affordable Care Act and have warned from the start about the problems inherent in this bill, were right in trying to repeal, then defund, and now delay implementation of this law. One of the main authors of this bill, Democratic senator Max Baucus, has even gone so far as to call the implementation of this law a “train wreck.”
This law not only gives the federal government control of 16 percent of our economy, but will result in rationing of care in order to control costs. This is socialized medicine which does not guarantee good health care, and any care will be determined by what 15 bureaucrats deem necessary and cost-effective, thereby interfering with the doctor and patient relationship.
This law was sold to the public with promises not kept, and was passed without study or debate amid much deal making. It is time to start over and write a health care law that gives consumers affordability, portability, and access to good care.