When the Healthcare Plus One Party Turns into a -3 Party

Posted on  September 29, 2017


At this juncture, it is abundantly clear that the repeal and replace of Obamacare is not happening in 2017. Even a cursory review of the current trajectory of Obamacare shows that absent real and meaningful corrective action, Obamacare will continue having increasing negative consequences on the general population. This is something upon which both sides of the aisle have readily agreed.

The purpose of this post is not necessarily about the politics of Republicans versus Democrats, but rather to posit that the issues of healthcare which affect virtually every American are not necessarily being viewed through that lens.  It has turned into a turf war between Democrats and Republicans as well as internecine chaos within the Republican Party and a unified Democratic Party all too eager to stand by and watch the Republican Party implode. Somehow, the fate of the citizenry and their respective healthcare does not seem to really factor into the decision-making process.

With respect to the Republicans, for seven years they criticized Obamacare and were very clear that if they got control of Congress, namely, the Senate and the House, they would rectify all that is wrong with Obamacare. As it happens, their party not only got control of Congress, but they came to the “let’s change Obamacare party” with a PLUS ONE – the executive branch with the election of Donald J. Trump.

What happened, however, was that even with their +1, the Republicans cannot get their majority in the Senate to agree on something they had seven years of promises on which to work. In fact, the tabulations were now a -3 calculation. Any three senators against any idea for repeal, replace, repair or any other change to our health care system, scuttles the Republican congressional majority.

One senator would not approve any change because it did not change enough; others opposed any change because it changed too much. Without being glib, it reminds me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One bears porridge was too cold, and one bears porridge was too hot. It is very possible that when the midterms come, members of the Senate and Congress like Goldilocks, will “run all the way home.”

With respect to the Democrats, they readily admit that Obamacare is flawed and needs to be readjusted, rejiggered, fine-tuned or some other semantic. It is interesting, however, that among all of the 48 Democratic senators, not one is ready to come forward and say “count me in with any idea floated by the Republicans, for the sake of the American people.” Democrats are united in their interest to see the Republican Party implode, the ability to take control of Congress, and ignore the pain that Americans will be enduring in the interim.

I do not know what the right answer is, but I do know that it appears that our government needs more repair than Obamacare. The problems are deeper and the ramifications are felt by virtually every American every day.

Healthcare costs are soaring, insurers don’t know how to price their policies, premiums are skyrocketing depending on where you live, and Congress is busy with who wins the race – the donkey or the elephant.

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Comments 39

    1. THANX UPDATE email ,,,regarding health care ,,,, we fully support the health care reforms of previous govt and that of the new govt ,,, as both are helpful and would boost the existing health care deliuvery system ,,,, and also fruitful suggestions of health care think tanks will be added,,,as well ,,,its right that the health care costs goes up ,,,and urgent boost up measures are needed to cover the extra cost,on health care delivery ,,,,,but this should not be taxed on people ,,, the responsible health insurance companies will sort out to settle this vital issue of health care cost ,,,,especially important are mother child neonatal care ,,, patients of chronic diseases,,,cardiac patiednts and patients of malignancies and cancer etc,,,,,,keep up these grat efforts of improving health care issues and also sorting out the extra and increasing health budget cost ,,,will update

  1. HELLO HI THANX update email,,,,,,,,,REGARDING HEALTH CRE ISSUES GROWING COST ON IT ,,,,,,,,we fully support the health care reforms measures,,sincere efforts of previous and presnt govts ,,both are doing good job,,,,,,,in this context the fruitful suggestions of heath care think tanks be added from all health care institutions ,it is right that health care delivery cost going high,,,so urgent boot up and cost effective measures needed to settle this growing health budget ,,cost ,,but this should not be taxed on common man ,,,,i think health insurance companies are to sort out ways and means to settle such vital issues with health deptt ,wil update

  2. The persistent failures to address the looming disaster confirms that the swamp effect is in full force. Both sides of the aisle are more focused on party and self interest than those of the American people. The solution is obviously difficult but worth the effort to correct. Washington dysfunction reigns.

  3. A great mentor of mine told me something very simple a long while ago when she’d noticed I was being pointlessly stubborn when dealing with my peers who were running other programs at our place of business. She said, “Do what’s best for the organization first. Not your unit. Or yourself. Everyone wins when you always put the organization number one”. This article brought me back to that memory.

  4. There was talk of a bi-partisan bill in the works during this last round that never saw the light of day. It would be interesting to know more about that. It is important that as Americans, we all work to become better citizens and engage in the process by writing letters to our representatives and financially supporting organizations that represent our interests as that appears to have more impact (unfortunately) that just sending letters. We need to send the clear message that idealogical extremes should not stand in the way of common sense legislation. We also need to be prepared to accept the fact that any solution will be inherently flawed due to the necessary compromise required to get it done. We need a small unified step in the right direction from which we can then iterate on with another small step in the right direction.

  5. Agreed with most… Or political system is botched to say the least. So how do we fix “our” problem with health care? Kick the donkey’s and the elephants out and find representatives that truly represent the people interests…

  6. The division is too distracting. One side wants to fix the house, the other wants to tear it down. The patient point of view is not represented. Profit making does not belong in healthcare. I cannot contribute to this debate as it is being framed.

  7. one piece of the solution: salary cap all health insurance administrators. Essentially, health insurers are overpaid. If the salaries were salary capped at, say, 300K per annum, with cost of living increases & no bonuses, that would throw lots of money into the pool for provision of health/medical services. The bonuses these people receive are clearly based upon services not provided. There are plenty of well-equipped people who would be happy to work for 300K. For those who say that their salaries can’t be capped, BS; they cap the salaries of everyone else in the healthcare system. So, if you want to work as a health insurer, you should understand that your earning potential, like most others, will be limited. That would be a start to some of the solutions. Pharmaceutical companies need some control as well, however, that is more complex and admittedly beyond my capacity.

  8. There is a definite need to address the underlying questions you offer in this post. When political parties interfere with the progression of a healthy society, it only reminds me of the number of citizens who depend on the government for basic needs. The basic need of financially reasonable health insurance was not in the government’s concern when the Affordable Care Act was constructed. I doubt the same concern is fueling the several proposal to replace the ACA. There might be one bright light that has come from this teetering between political agendas. Subsidy expiration and insurance competition between state lines by an executive order last week is one direction that could reduce monthly payments in the short term. If there really isn’t a long term solution to health care, then every time a cost inflation point crosses with time, there will be another issue begging to be replaced.

  9. The sad part is that the people pay for insurance because everything is overpriced. Why hasn’t the government stop hospitals and doctors from overcharging? Why one doctor will charge $400 for an initial visit and another $250? Or an xray cost 300 in some places and 150 in others? Even the price of medicine is overpriced. If government really cared and wanted to do something about it, they should start here. Then they can control insurance companies. But on another note, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and others pay the piper to keep things the way they are so the little people pay for it all.

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