The Norman Transcript


December 15, 2013

People lament the loss of junk

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Some of the people angry about the Affordable Care Act have called the president a liar since it turns out a few plans are being canceled. Liar seems a bit harsh. The president misspoke. He meant to say folks would no longer want that worthless piece written by industry lords once they shopped the exchange and discovered the ACA forced them to do the job and actually provide adequate health care.

It’s touching to see conservatives lament the loss of people’s junk plans that wouldn’t have bought an aspirin in a time of need. Providers have dumped generations of policyholders when they were no longer profitable. Where’s the outrage over doctor’s bills being the leading cause of bankruptcy? In almost all filings people thought they had enough coverage.

Obamacare just humbly seeks to return the group health care plan to its roots as a scheme to pool risk and expand coverage for the good of the commonwealth. The plan is originally nonprofit. It will be a long time before we can have that pipe dream again. Anyone interested can Google and hear live as John Ehrichman persuaded Nixon to let the sharks in the tank, “all the incentives are towards less medical care because the less care they give them, the more money they make.” A few short decades later and our health care system is a GNP gobbling monstrosity that leaves tens of millions without the basic human right until the condition becomes so acute an emergency room can’t legally turn you away.

We spend the annual national treasure of France on health care; plenty to provide universal coverage in our nation founded on Christian principles. Good for the president to launch the ACA as soon as possible though the information technology wasn’t quite ready for prime time. The forces allied for sabotage are robust and very angry. The industry didn’t lavish trillions over the years buying political favor to provide more coverage. Lords of industry know best — they’re an irrelevant middleman that’s long engorged on manipulating health care. They enjoy the antitrust exemption shared solely with professional baseball. Pull a rabbit out of a hat and here’s your bill.

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