Total speculation

I’m an optimistic sort of guy, really. Kind of a contrarian because I get to explore and test my thinking and assumptions better that way, but I’d rather look at the bright side, all things being equal. So, what’s the possible bright side of the ObamaCare crap sandwich we have been handed? Just spitballing a few thoughts, here…

Well, it’s not likely to be repealed in the next month and a half, and I can’t see the Rs getting their collective shit together to actually get a good delay + automatic sun-set bill passed before the end of the year. I also can’t see Ear Leader totally folding and allowing it to be threatened with sun-setting or repeal. So, it’s still on the books and nominally active for a little while, but there is chaos because people can’t all get signed up for new stuff, or can’t afford it and will scream at being taxed for not buying something they can’t afford. (Does Turbo Tax properly account for it?) Insurance companies sent out a lot of cancellation notices. People don’t like getting them, bitch about it to their friends. The backlash from independent voters looks like it’s building fast, and may be REALLY hostile. Horror stories of people with their “much better ObamaCare-Compliant plans” getting totally screwed make the news, where someone goes out of network and has ZERO coverage, because there is no quality care in their network (see Maine, for example – all the serious stuff they send to Boston, but the sole exchange provider doesn’t pay for anything out of state, so they are stuck with crappy in-state care, or billed full-boat for quality out-of-state care). All the proposed “tweaks” look to break the basic funding mechanisms, or take a while to implement, and in the meantime people are twisting in limbo, with plans they might or might not have paid for (because the Healthcare.gov doesn’t have the back-end payment system even kind-of-built, yet.) Costs explode. Data gets hacked, identities stolen. Fraud stories become so common they move off the front page from sheer volume. Payments get messed up, and bank accounts drained or messed with. Then the rumors start floating, then hitting the front page, that when the employer mandate hits, there will be a metric shitload of policy cancellations and coverage-drops with no place to go. Independents get scared of government power, and even some of the hard left, having gotten beaten about the head and shoulders with their problems dealing with it personally come to their senses enough to realize that it’s not just that it’s the wrong people in charge, but that no matter WHO is in charge, this sort of program will always fail. The DC and state-level political back-stabbing and infighting and blame-shifting and finger-pointing in the war for political survival might be epic. People will want a blood-in-the-streets level of accountability, and calls for more data and transparency will be loud.

If things get bad enough, fast enough to make news every day even on the most liberal MSM outlets, slow enough that the guys at the top can keep lying to themselves that it’ll take just another few weeks, for enough people across the political spectrum, it’s possible that out of the wreckage of our healthcare system might (might, not a certainty) emerge a broad consensus that big government doesn’t work, and we really need to hack it back, like taking a machete to an overgrown back yard. Yes, you might take out a few roses, but getting all the blackberry bramble under control is worth a few flowers. (Isn’t eggs and omelets a common statist refrain?) It’s possible. Turnover in congress could be record-breaking, if we are lucky. In the mean time, looks like we have some rough sailing, and a lot of places where the Stupid party can earn their name, while the Evil party keeps trying to destroy the nation.

My “perfect vision?” All care providers (docs, hospitals, Big Pharma on a per med basis, everyone) are required to post prices on their websites, as well as average outcomes. Insurers must post what they pay out for procedures, outcomes, etc, both summary and details. This allows consumers to shop around and compare in an intelligent way. Most people will be able to move to high-deductible Medical Savings Account and associated catastrophic care policy, so it’s insurance, not a paperwork-heavy medical pre-payment plan. It becomes openly competitive across state lines, simply because the information is available to the consumer, so they are motivated because they CAN control costs. And for the most part, the government just butts the heck out, except for fraud prosecution and such-not. Oh, and the BATFE gets disbanded, and all the Form 4 items become nothing more than an ordinary 4473 item, because range-time is good for the blood-pressure.

Hey, I said I was an optimist… And I’m usually wrong when I make predictions, particularly about the future. *shrug* Doesn’t mean I can’t dream.

10 thoughts on “Total speculation

  1. I don’t think the Repubs will drive it, pressure will have to come from outside the existing political swamp to achieve much of your perfect vision. But, that’s not impossible if enough conservatives and constitutionalists get elected next November. I’m not sure we’re at a tipping point yet on the government size issue, but I think I can see it from here.

    And, Rolf, I have a serious question, and I’m not asking it to be critical. In your post you have “….from shear volume….” instead of sheer and “….sun-set bill past before the end…” instead of passed. I’m seeing more and more of this on blogs and I’m wondering if it’s caused by over dependence on auto correct. Was that what caused the improper word selection?

    • Thanks for the corrections. I’m just a really bad speller. Always have been. Some words like “sheer” didn’t quite look right as I typed them, but they didn’t underline from the spell-checker. That’s the sort of goof that caused me to listen to the oft-repeated refrain of “hire an editor” for my novel, which has cleaned up a great many of those sorts of things.

      • Alternatively, type your posts out in a spell- AND grammar-checking word processor that will catch those words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly, then copy-paste it over to the site.

        Just an idea. 🙂

        • It’s a good idea, but there are a lot of word substitutions that are still grammatically correct. “He had a scared face” vs “he had a scarred face.” Totally different meaning. I usually spot them in other’s work, but not in my own. It would catch some of them.

      • You spelled them correctly, it’s just that the words you used mean something else. Shear and sheer, for example, are homonyms – they sound alike but the definitions are different. As I said, I’m seeing more and more of this on blogs (along with the frighteningly common misuse of apostrophes; to paraphrase what Dave Barry once wrote, “the purpose of an apostrophe seems to be to announce “here comes an ‘S’ “). And, when bloggers whom I know are highly educated, and had to produce MS and Phd theses, but are sloppy with word choice and punctuation, I sometimes wonder if we’re headed into the Dark Ages of Communication, or everyone is defaulting to whatever the word processor thinks is right. Most of the time it’s not a big deal – I can figure out you didn’t shear the sheer curtains – but I’ve seen quite a bit of it in technical manuals, including training documentation.

        • I know what homonyms are, and I’m getting better at catching mistakes like that. It bugs me when I see it in others, but I find it difficult to find such errors in my own writing. Never formally diagnosed, but I suspect I’m mildly dyslexic. Slow reader, terrible speller, puns flow easily and always have, miss things in my own even after re-reading them a dozen times. If asked about the words isolated, I usually know the difference in definitions and pronunciations (lead, lead; Polish polish; share Cher; etc) without any problems.
          Manuals are often written overseas these days, by people with English as a second language, so I expect mistakes there. But as I’m finding while working with a pro editing my novel, it takes a certain kind of mind to be a good editor, and mine isn’t that type.
          And as annoying as having errors pointed out is, I really do appreciate it. My writing improves because of it.

  2. That is, of course, pretty much the Singaporean system.

    The left in the US wonders why other countries an implement free universal healthcare, and America cannot.

    The answer, of course, is that other countries have not implemented free universal healthcare. They are just faking it to a greater or lesser extent.

    What happens is that the government guarantees free universal healthcare – which sucks mightily, so the privileged exempt themselves, and you wind up with a half assed approximation to Singaporean healthcare, only with pull counting for more and money counting for less.

    • Well said.
      Huh. Didn’t know that about the Singapore system. Sounds like they read about MSAs in “Patient Power” and said “that makes sense.”
      The first rule of any law should be “if the folks that write the law feel a desire to exempt themselves from it, why should it be OK to impose it on the rest of us?”

  3. Rolf; all the chaos and frustrastion was planned, and that has been well-documented as they’ve been talking about it for many years. The Progressives’ idea is that this frustration will lead us to scream for a total government takeover, or a “single payer” system. “Top Down, Bottom Up, Inside Out” Those are their exact words to describe the process of demoralization and destruction through government pressures (Top Down), outrage and demands that government “do something” coming from the “masses” (Bottom Up), and eventual, complete authoritarian takeover (Inside Out).

    I’m for “single payer” too, only my idea of the single payer is the person being treated. The government has no role in it whatsoever, except when someone’s rights have been violated. That’s the American Ideal for which blood was shed in the Revolution. The only proper fix is to restore a free market. The price lists, quality control, taking care of the needy, and all the rest always takes care of itself in a free market far better than in any alternative to a free market.

  4. Yeah, you’re an optimist. The Rs want governmental control over people almost as badly as the Ds. They’re just fine with overreaching .gov power, but with them at the reins. We’re able to manage it better than them, doncha know. The so-called Conservative Party in Great Britain took this tack in recent decades, and it gone soooo well. It really is bumfuzzling how the whole lot of them are either clueless about history and human nature, or know but think “it’ll be different this time”.

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