Repost from October 2, 2013
Like millions of Americans on Oct. 1, 2013, I took to the internet in the early morning hours to check out the truth about what Obamacare might mean to me. Not because of a need for health insurance which I already have, but out of a morbid curiosity akin to watching a racing car wreck at full speed live. It’s gruesome and horrifying but you won’t stop watching til its all done.
After 3 years of discussion, planning, and political battles Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act by its official and generally unused name – came to life in health care exchanges, at the cost of a Government shutdown. The result, for residents of New York State at least, can be summed up in the word underwhelming.
Since 2:00 AM through 11:25 PM the result – that cost $1 trillion dollars, is arguably creating a trend of part-time work, and is rife with whispers of corporations big and small abandoning employees to the cumbersome indelicate micromanagement of the Government in an all to quickly approaching future – was nothing. The system, just less than a month earlier, that was rumored to fail and likely to expose the critical private data of average Americans to cybercriminals like bees to honey lived up to a single expectation… it collapsed immediately.
No quotes for individuals and families. No miraculous savings on monthly premiums (with a penalty of extreme deductibles and out-of-pocket costs out of the range of the very people it was intended to help). Not even a flicker of the internal design of the pages that would lead to the fruition of the grand plan that was executed behind closed doors, with political deals just short of bribes for members of a supermajority that acted against the will of the public in the most partisan action to ever be ignored by the very people damning Republicans efforts to disembowel this Frankenstein’s monster as partisan.
In business and life it is often said that the first impression is critical. It leaves a near indelible mark on the memory, and colors all future interaction with its residue. All to often, the first impression is the most clear observation of what is to come, and the ultimate expression of what will develop over time.
Obamacare, in one fell swoop, has clearly stated what it is…a mess that cannot function even with billions of dollars and years of effort.
Some will say, just as President Obama did before the on switch was flipped, that such a massive undertaking will have hiccups and errors at the start. That the initial steps of so massive a reform must stutter-step before taking grand strides forward. Then again, Dr. Frankenstein felt his monster was wonderous. An impression felt by him alone.
Still, the unwritten rule of thumb may be wrong. The law of averages implies that eventually the Government must achieve success in micromanaging something. Yes, maybe even Billy Crystal’s Fernando might be proven wrong and something that looks bad and feels bad might actually wind up being really good. Then again, what entitlement programs has lived up to the long-term expectations it was created under?
Maybe on day 2, or 3, or at some point in the not too distant future Healthcare.gov will work (at least for those in New York State). Possibly those that hang in there will find the pot of gold they were promised. We can only hope so, because the cost in debt, freedom, and growth in Government will NEVER be fully undone.
Obamacare is hope, the final plague left in Pandora’s Box. At least that is the first impression it has given me.