The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 10, 2013

Obamacare ... again!

By BOB HARPER
FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — I’m sure readers of this column are as tired of reading about Obamacare as I am writing about it.  However, it seems as soon as we think we may have learned all there is to know about this complex healthcare system more needles in this giant haystack begin to stick us again.

Now they’re talking about postponing Obamacare for another year.  I’d like to see it postponed, too … maybe for 200 years!

Remember, this is the bill that was 13,000 pages long and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said, “We must pass it to find out what’s in it.”  Makes one wonder who wrote it and who has read it.  I suppose some huge committee wrote it. I remember someone once said, “A camel is the results of a committee trying to design a horse.” Now, not all committees are dysfunctional.  I have served on committees that performed well, but usually they were small and knew a lot about what they should be doing.

I don’t know what the committee that came up with Obamacare was really trying to design, but it has come out somewhat like an orangutan trying to ride a kangaroo.

Former Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said the administration may have come to a point where officials realize they can’t get everything to line up the way it was envisioned in the highly complicated legislation. Highly complicated?  How about tougher than understanding Chinese Algebra?

This new postponement announcement will last until after the next election and may help the Democrats, or it may haunt them, as a lot of voters may see this as purely a political move to keep some of the public from experiencing the very negative issues that the bill will bring out. This bill requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer healthcare coverage to their workers or face a financial penalty. But, now this will not come into effect until after the elections.

So, when it does become effective (after the elections) these companies will have to pay a lot more one way or another.

Some Democrats that are facing reelection are becoming concerned. Twenty-one

Democrat Senators are facing reelection, whereas only 14 GOP Senators are up for reelection.  The Democrat Senators who voted for this bill in 2010 are already feeling the heat. The incentives in this bill encourage some companies not to hire new workers or to cut back on the hours that their employees are allowed to work. If that’s the case, then naturally, the Dems don’t want this to occur until after the elections. Therefore, postpone it.

The Democrats are facing a real dilemma.  Do they let this super complex bill go into effect and reap harsh reactions that may result, or should they postpone it and hope that the public will be very forgetful?  Apparently they feel they can’t afford for the bill to go into effect now and they do feel that we, the public, are too stupid to remember what this bill actually does.

House Speaker John Boehner said, “This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the ‘train wreck’ will only get worse.” He went on to say, “This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms.

Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, said, “I’ve heard from countless employers in Maine who say that the onerous penalties and provisions on Obamacare provide perverse and powerful incentives to not hire new workers or to cut back on the hours that their employees are allowed to work.”

Tyler Harber, a Republican strategist called Obamacare “an unworkable law that will burden small businesses with huge costs whether the mandate is implemented now or later.”  He went on to say, “The delay has done nothing but fuel Republican arguments that Obamacare isn’t ready for prime time and has not diminished the liability that it is for Democrats in 2014 and 2016.

“In fact, delaying the employer mandate may guarantee that Republicans pick up the White House in 2016 since Obamacare could be responsible for the largest shuttering of small business the United States has ever seen when the employer mandate is actually implemented”.

Small business operators are not made up of all Republicans or all Democrats.  I would think it would be about even and all of their businesses will be hurt.

The president even tried to get the National Football League to endorse Obamacare.

Wisely, they refused.

A well-designed national healthcare plan could be good and I believe a well-organized (relatively small) committee could do the job.

Such a committee should contain business people from both large and small businesses, insurance experts and healthcare representatives who could work together to present a workable plan to serve our nation well.

This would be a lot better than the present plan which looks like an elephant and three jackasses trying to ride in a pick-up truck.