President Obama is either in denial, is being misinformed, does not understand health care, is looking only for a political victory or is outright lying to the American people. Frankly, I don’t know which is the right answer, but I do know that I am getting tired of hearing the same old sales pitch every fifteen minutes. Selling Americans on a new health care system that does not address the fundamental problems of the current system is like selling us a new gadget that doesn’t work and then giving us another one of the same thing for free.
Mr. Obama has to be smarter than his sales pitch makes him out to be. The 150 million Americans with employer based coverage will get little more than the opportunity to pay more for health care and more in taxes. Employers who provide coverage are faced with greater regulation, higher benefit costs and likely higher taxes in one or more forms.
Americans who do receive health care under these proposals will find that it will quickly become unaffordable (although that may fall on taxpayers rather than those being subsidized) as the rate of increase and the increased demand for health care services increase premiums.
Reforming the health care system may sound fine on the campaign trail, it may even sound fine in interviews and speeches, but it is not so good if it only means expanding coverage under the current delivery system. And guess what, the vast majority of Americans, right or wrong, like the current delivery system. Who is going to sell them on the idea that the current system can’t last if costs are truly going to be controlled. Where is poor Billy when you need him?
Worse still is the possibility that the administration’s sales pitch will result in passage of “reform” under some combination of the current draft legislation and America is left with ten years of nothing but growing costs and a bigger liability. There is a great deal that can be done to truly reform the delivery of health care and the way we pay for it, it may not garner the AMA’s support and Americans may come to the realization that high cost is not high quality and that more care is not better care, but that is “reform.”
As many of us warned at the start of this journey, the problem is cost, not the uninsured. Change your sales pitch Mr. President.