Monday, April 15, 2013

Who has been in the Medicare Cookie Jar?

First, the facts are clear that President Obama's administration negotiated with Congress, as well as lobbyists for the Insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies and doctors to create the bill that became the Affordable Care Act.  President Obama further endorsed this approach to providing coverage by signing it into law.  Congress passed it and the President signed it., therefore it became law.   If there is credit or blame for the law, it goes with Congress and the President.

Congress is given possession and control over the "cookie jar," by our Constitution.  Congress has the power to spend and the power to tax.  The President has the power to execute the laws that Congress enacts.  Congress opened the cookie jar by passing the act: President Obama signed the bill.  This is the rule of law, not "caught stealing."

Since healthcare costs have been rising faster than any other aspect of our economy for decades, it should come as little surprise that the people who have been making that money were a bit sore.  That is to say, when you have been investing in a business that makes more and more money each and every year, you have every reason to be upset when a law is passed that threatens to reduce that return.  In fact, the Insurance industry gave $86 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to fight the law by any means necessary.  To allow them to do this without staying at the negotiating table, they funneled the money secretly through the U.S Chamber of Commerce, rather than spending it themselves.  I say this not to insult the industry for being lying weasels, but rather to point out that they had a lot to lose from the United States Government managing to solve the health care cost crisis which it alone seems to suffer among industrialized countries.

We already ration care through the health insurance industry.  That results in many people failing to receive any primary care.  This means that routine infections turn into life-threatening conditions.

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