Saturday, January 9, 2016

I Hate Explaining the ACA

Richard Mayhew is, or at least claims to be, the pseudonym of an insurance-industry middle manager at Balloon Juice. He has provided much useful advice and commentary for people in the lower tranches of the US health care system. However, he also has a habit of defending the systems and saying it is the best possible. A few weeks ago, this led me to write the following comments on one of his posts (remarks slightly edited):
Man, do you have any idea how awful the ACA system is? Better than what we had before, but that’s like saying having a tent and a place to pitch it is better than sleeping on the streets. It is, but that is no comfort to families that have to care for sick children. Most people would rather have a home with walls. And it’s only going to get worse, as the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the hospitals learn how to work the system. Until the power of the right-wing coalition is broken and Citizens United is overturned there will be no improvement, so we’re talking years.

I do not believe that this was the best compromise possible. As with the banks, the Obama administration just rolled over. I do not know what hold the financial services industry [which includes the insurance industry] has on this administration, but it is profound.
Hey folks, couldn't you have given us a good system? One which places the expenses of the system on the people who can afford to pay, rather than creating a system which puts the biggest expenses on the working poor and moderately well off people in their 50s and early 60s? Couldn't you have regulated the big price-gougers in the system: the insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturers?

I have gotten to hate explaining to people on the right that this is the system they asked for, and debunking right-wing lies. I have gotten to hate explaining to people on the left that, yes, this is a rotten system and it is nonetheless an improvement. And I have gotten to hate explaining to my friends and family the reasons to sign up, even though it’s a crappy system and an extra expense.

No comments: