The Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Affordable Patient Care Act/Obamacare virtually intact is being heralded as a great victory for the administration. I believe the triumph will be short-lived, that it will ultimately be considered a pyrrhic victory, and that inclusion of the word “affordable” within the legislation will come to be regarded as comical.
The American people should be able to agree that our health care system is broken and in dire need of repair. We spend the greatest amount of money per capita on health care, yet we are one of the sickest, most drug-dependent and drug-addicted nations in the world.
One would think that our elected officials would look to other nations which deliver health care efficiently and in a cost-effective manner to determine their best practices in the hope of modeling our system after theirs, but it is clear that this was not done in the formulation of this omnibus legislation which few, if any members, of Congress read or fully understood.
Even independent economic analyses conclude that the provisions of the plan shall increase government expenditures for health care to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars that we do not have, more money that will have to be borrowed on top of our current $16 trillion millstone. One cannot magically add coverage for children up the age of 26, throw millions more Medicaid recipients onto the welfare rolls, and offer other niceties without fiscal calamity and the facilitation of a new level of entitlement.
The upholding of the law may aid the president in his bid for re-election, but if he is returned to office, the ramifications of it will not be fully realized until he is firmly ensconced for a second term.
It is instructive to note that when the Medicare program was established in 1964, it was estimated to cost $10 billion per year by 1990. The economists were off by "just a bit"; the annual cost of Medicare in 1990 came to $107 billion. If similar "accuracy" is inherent in the Patient Care Act, then we are doomed.
I hope someday to understand why conservative Chief Justice John Roberts was willing to stamp his imprimatur upon what is destined to be one of the largest government social spending programs in our history. Did an individual who is to be insulated from political pressure for life somehow succumb to it?
Upper St. Clair