According to an article just released in The New York Times, Obama went on record in defense of the health care law. He says it is “working fine.” But is it really? There have been reams of provisions, revisions, and even revisions to revisions as well as regulations and IRS explanations. Proponents would say that this is a good thing. It’s all in an effort to help folks in the transition phase. Opponents like Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, in defense of small business owners, told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a few days ago:
I just see a huge train wreck coming down…Small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect.
In a televised address to the White House Press Corps on Tuesday, Obama defended his plan:
What we’re doing is we’re setting up a pool so that they can all pool together and get a better deal from insurance companies. And those who can’t afford it, we’re going to provide them with some subsidies…despite all the hue and cry and ‘sky is falling’ predictions about this stuff — if you’ve already got health insurance, then that part of Obamacare that affects you, it’s pretty much already in place. And that’s about 85 percent of the country.
The truth is even President Obama has no idea how the chips will fall when the ACA is fully enacted. Will this be the President’s legacy or his black mark? If you listen to certain physicians and small business owners, they will tell you that it’s already a disaster. However, proponents and Obama himself will defend the plan explaining that the aim of this reform was focused on children, the under-insured and people with pre-existing conditions. And it’s tough to argue against reform when you put it that way? Who is going to tell the woman with cancer in Michigan who has been laid off and has no more COBRA that the elimination of insurance denials based on pre-existing conditions or caps is a bad thing? But it’s still complicated. Because truth-be-told, it’s just as life altering for the small business owner in Ohio with several children and a business that just squeaks by. How does he now hire more personnel to deal with having to cover his full-time employees, avoid tax penalties and complete accurate and deadline-driven tax reporting without going under?
The President has to defend his decision and again it may have been brilliant—none of us knows yet. But when one makes the biggest change in domestic policy since the 1940s, one cannot really eat crow at least not in public and certainly at least not for another four years. Hopefully he’ll be toasting his legacy with champagne in a poignant reflection on his accomplishments. Let’s hope. We can still do that collectively, no reform or revisions there…at least not yet.