Subtlety versus Bombast

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R 3590—otherwise known as “Obamacare”—is Agamemnon or the most significant social legislation since Medicare. It either has “death panels” or life-saving preventive care for the elderly. It will either kill jobs and increase health care costs or increase demand for healthcare providers and bring new efficiencies to that sector of the economy, effectively bringing down costs over time. One congresswoman actually claimed that Obamacare will “kill woman, children and the elderly.” Further, small businesses will die, U. S. deficits will explode, and the Government will unravel in red tape. When the Republicans stood on the sidelines while the Democrats struggled to pass H. R. 3590, they threw every brick they could into the process. Now that the bill is about to be fully enacted, the Democrats are quietly enjoying the internecine skirmishes within the Republican ranks over futile attempts to scuttle its implementation with threats of government shutdown and debt ceiling perversity. Given all this political uproar, one might ask what are the specific problems with PPAC and, more importantly, what are our elected officials doing to correct them? So far, there is no evidence that small businesses are reducing staff or converting staff to part time. Also, 98% of large businesses already provide healthcare insurance and may be immune to new penalties under this law. Some health insurance premiums have increased in lieu of implementation of the individual mandate. Will these premium increases reverse course after implementation of the individual mandate? Meanwhile, the rising costs of healthcare have slowed to its lowest point in the last 50 years. Will the impetus for efficiency in the new law continue to prod healthcare providers in this direction? These concerns and others, yet to be discovered, may well require legislative action. Will it be possible for our legislators to act responsibly when many of them have taken such extreme positions?

The political discourse is so polluted that it is almost impossible to sift out any factual analysis, most especially since PPAC is just on the cusp of implementing healthcare exchanges (ironically, a Republican brainstorm). Its success or failure rests with a future yet to be determined. My purpose here is not to vet the President’s signature legislation of his first term. Instead, I want to dwell on the nature of the political discourse. Recently, we heard a U.S. Senator compare his fellow Party members to those who refused to stand up to Hitler, as if denying 30 million people the right to affordable healthcare was paramount to relinquishing the European continent to a brutal tyrant. Actually, the only comparison to Nazi Germany that might fit our current circumstance is the blizzard of misinformation foisted on the American people. Fortunately, unlike Nazi Germany, neither Party’s leaders can control the press or the dissemination of actual facts. For example, PPAC is not the 3,000 page tome its opponents inveigh against. It is about 1,000 pages (though, I have to admit, font size may be the relevant factor here). When Democrats imply that it will save the government one trillion dollars, or Republicans claim it will cost 1.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years, both sides are fudging the numbers to mislead the electorate—that is, you. These numbers are “quoted” from the Congressional Budget Office written analysis of PPAC’s impact on the Federal budget. But they are deliberately taken out of context.

Let me quote from the CBO’s executive summary:
“CBO and JCT (joint congressional taskforce) now estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting H.R. 3590 as passed by the Senate would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $118 billion over the 2010–2019 period.”

Further, the CBO concluded:
“CBO expects that the legislation, if enacted, would reduce federal budget deficits over the decade after 2019 relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of GDP.”

When the Democrats talk of savings, they include non-coverage savings (which are not part of the Federal budget) and ignore the costs of implementation. The Republicans, on the other hand, include the net costs of additional insurance coverage (which are not part of the Federal budget) and ignore the new revenue and cost reductions built into PPAC. Even in our elementary schoolyards, these contradictory assertions would be called lies. So what do we citizens do with this level of misbehavior? First, we have to understand that political tactics are means to an end. If a Party believes in its fundamental goals and strategies, then any means is justified. Secondly, we have to understand the ideology that supports the avowed goals and strategies. Republicans believe in that typically American self-reliance that demands personal accountability and freedom to take risks—even with an individual’s health. Democrats, on the other hand, are dedicated to that typically American altruism that promotes the general welfare. However unconscionable are the tactics, the goals are understandable and are, in fact, enshrined in our Constitution. We Americans are both self-reliant and altruistic. These attributes of our national character seem to conflict if we outweigh the worth either of the individual’s responsibility for his/her health or of the state’s responsibility for assuring the health of its citizens.

The obvious answer to this dilemma is an equitable counterbalance: both the state and the individual have responsibility here. The state can assure that healthcare is provided, but its citizens have to make intelligent use of it. A substance abuse program, for example, is useless if the abuser does not participate in the program. Likewise, the state cannot assure a universal healthcare provision without the support of its citizens. If we appraise the way in which political tactics have poisoned the well of understanding, we can readily see why the majority of Americans don’t support Obamacare. According to recent polls (which I generally ignore), there is an 8% favorability boost when this same healthcare provision is called simply the Affordable Care Act. The result of all this political bickering and leveraging may be self-defeating for both sides of the argument. If H. R. 3590 were not to be implemented or subverted in such a way as to make it unworkable, then we would both vitiate its beneficial provisions for a majority of Americans, not just for the 10% of our population without healthcare, AND increase the deficit spending of our government. Then all the children fighting in the schoolyard return to class with bloody noses.

34 thoughts on “Subtlety versus Bombast

  1. dien dan rao vat dak nong

    I was very pleased to find this great site. I wanted to thank
    you for ones time due to this wonderful read!!
    I definitely really liked every little bit of it
    and I have you bookmarked to look at new things on your web site.

  2. Home Garden

    You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really one
    thing which I feel I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I’m taking a look ahead to your next submit, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

    1. Anthony DeBenedict Post author

      I can appreciate your response. This particular subject is complicated and convoluted. When the political parties contend on the facts, they further muddle the waters. The initial debates were disingenuous because the Democrats included savings estimated in the private sector while ignoring implementation costs and the Republicans did the opposite, using the costs of private insurance made available by ACA while ignoring the new revenues and cost savings cooked into the bill. Both parties argued on false premises. When politicians lie, they destroy trust in our system. We elect them to figure out the complexities and consequences of the laws they engender. They receive a handsome allowance to hire staff and support any required research. As citizens, we cannot be expected to do their jobs for them. But when they fail to win our trust, then we must do what we can to right the ship.In the end, we still have the power of the vote.

  3. roulette free game Online

    I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. Thiss great article
    has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your blog and keep
    checking for new details about once a week.

    I opted in for your Feed as well.

  4. تطوير مواقع انترنت

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re
    just too excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which
    you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart.

    I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

  5. Juliane

    After going over a few of the blog articles on your website, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog.
    I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please
    visit my website as well and let me know your opinion.


    I’m not sure why but this site is loading incredibly slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  7. Carole

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads.
    I’m hoping to contribute & assist different customers like its helped me.
    Good job.

  8. Deloris

    Woah! I’m reallу loving the template/theme ߋf this
    site. It’s simple, уet effective. A lot of times it’s veгy hard
    tօ get thɑt “perfect balance” betԝеen usability ɑnd
    visual appeal. Ι must ѕay you’ve done а νery good job
    ѡith this. Also, the blog loads super fast fߋr mе on Internet
    explorer. Exceptional Blog!

  9. free reverse cell phone lookup

    cell phone look up Excellent items from you, man.

    I have remember your stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely great.
    I actually like what you have got right here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which
    you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still take
    care of to stay it smart. I cant wait to learn much more from you.
    That is actually a tremendous website. free reverse cell phone lookup

  10. reverse phone lookup

    reverse phone lookup You really make it appear so easy along with your
    presentation but I uncover this matter to be actually something that I think I would never realize.
    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
    xrumer reverse phone lookup

  11. reverse lookup

    reverse lookup cell Needed to send you this very small remark to
    be able to say thank you yet again with your incredible
    thoughts you have contributed on this site. This is so incredibly open-handed with people like you to present extensively all that many of us could
    possibly have offered as an ebook in order to make some money
    for themselves, particularly seeing that you could possibly have tried it if you ever wanted.

    These advice as well served to be the easy way to be aware that other people online have similar eagerness just like my own to grasp good deal more in regard
    to this issue. I am certain there are thousands of more fun situations ahead for many who browse through
    your blog. reverse lookup cell

  12. reverse phone lookup usa

    reverse phone lookup yellow pages Rarely do I encounter
    a weblog that’s both educated and entertaining, and let
    me tell you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is excellent; the problem is something that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about.
    I’m very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my quest for info
    relating to this. reverse phone lookup

  13. garcinia cambogia reviews

    garcinia cambogia reviews I would like to thnkx for the
    efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade site post
    from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing
    abilities has inspired me to get my own website now.
    Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast.
    Your write up is a good example of it. garcinia cambogia reviews

  14. Vanessa

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!Check My Ebook and you can also creat your own stuff just in 7 days…


Your comments are always welcome - I value your opinions!