It is no longer a question of if Obamacare will fail but when. This past week, another major insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, announced it was pulling out of the Obamacare exchange in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville.
No doubt it will be hard for the prideful man whose name the ill-fated program bears to watch his key legislative “achievement” go up in smoke. But if Hillary Clinton replaces him as the next president, Barack Obama may yet see an even bigger socialist dream rise out of the ashes of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump were both asked by the editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine to state what specific changes in policy each candidate supports that will improve access to and quality of health care, while controlling costs for the nation. Trump chose not to respond, but Clinton did, penning a 1,500-word essay for the publication titled “My Vision for Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care.”
In it she wrote:
Instead of repealing the ACA, my plan will build on its progress. We must work to expand Medicaid coverage in the 19 states that have left 3 million Americans without health insurance because their states refused to expand Medicaid and enroll people eligible for coverage. We need to improve and strengthen the ACA through enhanced tax credits to make coverage affordable, implementation of strong measures to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, increased competition between insurers, and an aggressive campaign to increase outreach and enrollment. And finally, we need to ensure the availability of a public option choice in every state, and let Americans over 55 buy in to Medicare. Taken together, these policies will increase competition, choice, affordability and the number of Americans with insurance.
Her remedy, if it can be called that, is a recipe for disaster. Look no further than Canada or Great Britain for a sense of how disastrous universal health care can be.
The problem for the U.S. is compounded by the fact that many of the Americans receiving health care subsidies continue to use the nearest emergency room or free clinic in place of a primary care physician. This was one of the strains on the health care system that Obamacare was meant to alleviate.
In 2010, Congress, which was under Democratic control in both chambers, lacked the cojones to pull the trigger on a public option. If Republicans are able to retain control of both houses in November, the changes Clinton is promising will likely enjoy the same fate as Obamacare itself.
It is still frightening to see what plans Hillary Clinton has for the nation in the event she does become its next commander-in-chief.