Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Taking an unbiased look at Obamacare

I was standing behind the front counter, rummaging through Paula’s candy basket in search of a Payday candy bar (miniature variety) when a man standing there, presumably putting an ad in the paper, asked me, “What do you think of Obamacare?”

I offered a couple sentences, trying to put into words what I thought about the Affordable Care Act enacted by Congress, but then I got to thinking about it at a different level.

Like, what difference does it make what I think, or what anybody thinks? It has been enacted into law, so who cares what anybody thinks about it? The only way to approach it now is to look at it part-by-part and try to decide how to make it work — if that is even possible.

And my thoughts drifted back to Blanton Collier, a Browns coach from many years ago whose theory to approaching any problem was to employ cybernetics. That’s what he called the process. He was a brilliant coach, tutored by the one and only Paul Brown. Blanton approached a problem by breaking it down into its most basic elements.

Only then, he reasoned, can you solve difficult problems.

So here is my approach to Obamacare, devoid of all emotion and employing nothing but its simplest elements in order to analyze it.

Here is what we know: There are (we are constantly told) 30 million people in this country who have no health insurance.

There are a total of 330 million people living in the country. If you subtract the 30 million who are uninsured, then presumably the rest have insurance. And since insurance is not free, the remaining 300 million must be paying for their own health insurance. Or somebody is.

President Obama feels the 30 million should have health insurance. And he is determined they will have it, even if they cannot pay for it. This is pure socialism, but never mind.

He wants them to be insured, so if they get it, somebody will have to pay for it. So who will pay? The only block of people available to pay for it are the 300 million who already have insurance.

Since they are already paying for their own insurance, or at least, somebody is paying for it, it is conceivable that they don’t want to pay the insurance bills of the 30 million who are uninsured.

That group of 30 million includes many people who don’t want insurance. Not all of them, but some of them. They have thought about it and have decided against purchasing it. But the government is now saying that the 300 million insured people must pay for the insurance of the uninsured 30 million.

Again, this is pure socialism. Our country was not founded as a socialist country, but some people in power have now decided that we are to become a socialist country.

Remember, the voters of the country elected the people who are making socialistic decisions for everybody. But those decision-makers will someday be up for election again.

About the only thing the voters who don’t believe in socialism can do is to carefully study the candidates on upcoming ballots and determine who is for socialism and who is not, and govern themselves accordingly.

There is another problem lurking in the background. Do we have enough doctors graduating from medical schools to care for an additional 30 million people who will be added to the rolls of the now-to-be insured?

If not, it would seem an additional burden will be placed on the doctors and medical facilities we already have.

Are they up to the task? Who knows.

Perhaps Nancy Pelosi, who was speaker of the House when Obamacare was passed, knew what she was talking about when she proclaimed that we must pass the legislation so we can read it and see what’s in there.

It turns out she was correct. Nobody in Washington knew what was in there. At least if they did, they were not telling us.

I never knew she was that smart, but by golly I guess she is.

So that is what I know about Obamacare, without any emotion. Only the bare facts.

Me? I don’t have an opinion about it. But I know what facts are, and in theory they should speak for themselves.

But still, I don’t know where we’re going to get all those extra doctors to care for 30 million extra patients, and how we’re going to convince the 300 million who already had insurance that it’s a good idea to pay for coverage for people who didn’t have it.

They can debate the subject in Washington forever, but eventually, if all those extra people are going to have insurance, someone is going to have to pay for it.

Remember, the government doesn’t have any money. It is already $17 trillion in debt from paying for things it cannot afford, and the only way it has of getting its hands on money is from the people (it’s called taxation) or by borrowing it from China.

That seems to be the way the country solves all its financial problems these days.


Blogger russ Hunter said...

your right. only a handfull of people want everyone to have health insurance.Thats why Obama was elected to two terms.300 million insured people dont want to pay for the 30 million who dont have or dont want insurance.But they are more than happy to pay for the free hospital visits and care they recieve with no health insurance.I'm sure the doctors agree they would rather be not payed at all by the 30 million then have gov't intervene.

November 24, 2013 at 9:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point to most of this is the 300 million already pay for the uninsured. We pay by higher healthcare costs when the uninsured don't pay their healthcare bills. We pay for the collection process and all cost associated with the uninsured skipping out on their healthcare bills. The Affordable Healthcare Act was meant to be a way to maybe lower that part of healthcare costs. The largest problem I see in the whole process is one party of government was unwilling to help in the making of a good bill because their most pressing want was to see one man fail instead of a whole country succeeding.

November 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's 60 million people who don't have insurance, and we mostly borrow money from ourselves, only 8 percent of our national debt is owned by China. The founders didn't believe in socialism -- it didn't exist then, but the Constitution and the Declaration say nothing of any economic system, it's a governed document, not a method of economics.

December 27, 2013 at 5:29 AM 

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