Elephant: Ow! I got a shock instead of a food pellet with I pushed the lever! I wonder if I'll get a food pellet the next time I push the lever.
The elephants were fools. If the ACA is as bad as they say, it will fail. Then it can be repealed or fixed. Little point in trying to kill it now, except vindictiveness. In the meantime, whatever its problems, it is doing a great deal of good. A friend of mine, a self-employed doctor no less, calls it a lifesaver. The coverage for his family went from $20,000 a year to about $10,000. I think about an acquaintance, call her Mary, who died a couple years ago. She got cancer, lost her job as a teacher when she could not work, and lost her health insurance along with her job, and could not get new insurance because of her “pre-existing condition.” She figured she was doomed and quite treatment so she wouldn’t leave her daughter penniless as well as an orphan. It is too late for her, but not for millions of others. Instead of making sure the ACA worked as well as it could, the action of the elephants to obstruct the thing meant too many states did nothing to set up the markets where insurers could compete in selling policies, and too many of the state that did, did so half-heartedly thinking that the effort might be wasted. The result is a difficult rollout, where the Feds were left doing what ought to have been the states’ job, which has further frustrated those seeking coverage. Preserving the lives of the citizens of this country is of no interest to elephants. Of course some elephants I know disapprove of health insurance altogether. It is always based on the principle of the fortunate paying for the unfortunate, and that is socialism, they say. Each person should pay his own way. It should all be between the patient and the doctor. There should be no third party involved. If Mary had not enough friends or family or savings to pay for her treatment, well, they say, that’s just too bad, or what charity is for. But it wasn’t anybody else’s business what happened to her. And in an insurance-less environment, competition would keep costs down and benefit everybody. That doesn’t sound like the kind of society I want to live in. I think preserving the health and lives of our fellow citizens is very much in the interests of us all. To the elephants, I guess I am just soft-headed as well as soft-hearted.
April 12, 2017