I’ve watched Americans cheering in mass hysteria for the Affordable Care Act of March 23, 2010 that would provide health insurance for 15 percent of Americans who either could not afford health care premiums, were denied insurance based on pre-existing conditions, or chose not to purchase insurance, gambling on their good health and immortal youth.
They believed the promised moon and the stars and Nancy Pelosi who refused to give details when asked – they had to “pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Four years and a trillion wasted dollars later there are more American citizens without insurance, and with substandard and more expensive insurance that does not meet their needs.
Americans young and old found out what’s in Obamacare and did not like it. Elderly were kicked out of their Medicare plans and moved into Humana. Patients lost their doctors, lost their insurance plans they liked and were forced into exchanges. Premiums were much higher, deductibles through the roof, and reimbursement varied from 60, 70, to 80 percent, depending on whether they had bought bronze, silver, or gold plans.
Congressmen and their staff were in a separate category, a “platinum and diamonds” plan for elitist lawmakers who promptly complained they could not afford the premiums and voted themselves a subsidy.
I suppose those who were uninsured thought Obamacare to be free since they touted health insurance as a right, not a service. Why reward and pay the “greedy” doctors for their expertise and years of expensive schooling and hard training? Everyone should be equally paid in the new, “fundamentally transformed” socialist America.
Things did not work so well when it came time to fund this bonanza of good health. Young people preferred to pay the lower penalty instead of enrolling. Medicare was stripped of $719 billion over ten years to fund Obamacare at the expense of rationed care for the elderly.
It is sad when a patient over 70 becomes a “unit” whose worth to society is being calculated and then services are curtailed based on their “utility.”
Who said there are no death panels when patients in need of physical therapy or expensive chemo are being told, sorry, we’ve done all we can for you, you are just too old and you are never going to get better. A far away bureaucrat makes life-altering decisions for patients they have never met who paid taxes and premiums for years so that their golden years would be protected.
On the other hand, if you are an illegal immigrant, fresh off the train or airplane, Obamacare is free and readily available the very same day, no questions asked.
Scandal after scandal revealed how badly veterans were treated in VA hospitals – many died waiting to be seen by a physician. These were our heroes who put their lives on the line for America and were promised first class care for the rest of their lives and received the worst. Their worth to the new socialist bureaucracy is less than that of illegal aliens. Veterans and military families experienced first the ill-effects of socialized medicine.
You may not like your premiums, you may not like your deductibles, you may not like the loss of your doctor who is not “a preferred physician” under Obamacare and perhaps practices “concierge” medicine or has retired, but socialized medicine is here to stay.
You may have to accept the care of a nurse practitioner or of someone trained in a third world country who was hurriedly licensed in order to fill the void of doctors. No bureaucracy, once ensconced with deep roots in Washington, can be uprooted and nullified no matter how ill-conceived it was.
You may think, how bad can socialized medicine and a single payer system be? Not bad if you have the sniffles, pretty bad if you take into account what happened to Maureen in Ireland and hundreds of thousands of patients just like her who are subjected to nationalized health care in Western Europe, the model for the Affordable Care Act.
Trying to recover from surgery for a broken femur caused by multiple myeloma and blood clots in her lungs, she had to share a room, a bathroom, and a shower with six other co-ed patients. Her femur broke while waiting for a CT scan at one hospital and was then transported to another hospital for surgery.
After a three day wait, she was prepped for surgery but the ambulance did not arrive to pick her up until the following morning. Kept in a semi-coma to alleviate the pain, when she got to the other hospital, the surgery was postponed twice. If that was not enough pain and suffering, Maureen was infected with the dreaded MRSA staph bacterial infection in her nose.
What caused her blood clots? After a 15 minute infusion to strengthen her bones, she was told to wait for her surgeon who wanted to see her and give her biopsy results and discuss treatment. She sat in the waiting room all day, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. By nightfall she was short of breath and very weak and had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance in order to save her life.
On discharge day, she had to wait 12 hours until a fourth person was found to sign off the release papers. Treatment can be good, but the patient can die waiting for it, and the nurses, although very kind and well-trained, are grossly overworked and underpaid, just like doctors.
Maureen had the option to buy a private room for the price of 1,000 euros per day. Single payer insurance in Ireland does not prevent patients from buying additional private insurance if they can afford it. Unfortunately that may not be the case in this country eventually, as more insurers would be unable to underwrite policies profitably and in line with the Affordable Care Act’s dictates.
As Jonathan Gruber said, the American voters were too stupid to understand the ramifications of the passage of the so-unaffordable Affordable Care Act and did not comprehend how their health care will be fundamentally and irreversibly altered.
Do we really want socialized medical care for our American patients? Unfortunately, what happened to Maureen is inevitably coming to the U.S. There will come a time when doctors, proper medical care, treatment, surgery, and drugs will be so scarce that patients will walk around with envelopes stuffed with cash in order to be treated in a timely manner and will look to the black market to find the drugs they need.
Copyright: Ileana Johnson 2014