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Viewpoint

Obamacare and gridlock in Washington

Why would Republicans want to delay or defund Obamacare? Because they know it is wrong for the country. Increasingly, people of all political persuasions are coming to realize that Obamacare is a “trainwreck,” as noted by Montana’s democratic senator.

The GOP, predictably, is being blamed for the government shutdown by the mainstream media, the president, and Democrats in both chambers. Republicans have wisely shifted their tactics away from defunding or delaying Obamacare, which was never going to work.

Now, the GOP has proposed reversing the decision by Obama to exempt Congress and federal staffers from mandatory Obamacare enrollment. Senate Democrats have rejected this proposal. Come election time, this will be difficult to defend.

Unions — a liberal constituency that previously supported Obamacare — now want exemption from Obamacare because of the increased cost.

The UAW boss’s request was rejected by Obama when he went to the White House to make his case.

Imagine the uproar if Congress, big business, and unions were granted permanent exemptions and the rest of us not in an entitlement program were left holding the bag.

Physicians, hospitals and other care facilities will have their reimbursements reduced, impacting patient care. These consequences include doctors limiting the number of Medicare patients they accept or closing their practices, and diagnostic equipment purchases by hospitals compromised. Also, the increased control of the federal government will result in patient-related information being released. Only patients’ physicians can judge what is best care for a patient — not an impersonal government regulator.

It is increasingly apparent that President Obama does not care that a majority of the country is against his signature piece of legislation. He is going to force implementation, because he knows that if Obamacare collapses, his presidency and his legacy collapse with it.

We recently learned that $70 million of taxpayer money will be spent on ads and tutorials (the latter available in 150 languages) to promote Obamacare. The ads will be directed primarily at younger people, whom Obama needs to sign up for this insurance, to pay for needed subsidies.

My view is that President Obama has poisoned the well of American politics with this ill-conceived, unworkable boondoggle. As Nancy Pelosi has said, you must pass it to read it and then know its contents!

Are there good parts of Obamacare? Yes. Providing coverage for millions of uninsured, doing away with pre-existing conditions as an acceptance restriction, allowing adult children to remain on parents’ insurance policies until they reach age 26 — all are good and necessary. These features need to be re-packaged in a health insurance plan that is more wisely thought out, less regulation-happy, and allows purchase of plans outside of state to increase competitiveness and therefore lower costs.

Robert Wilkins lives in Greenville and he is retired from a business
career.

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