Hank  Adler

There appears to be no fallback plan.

What if the Obamacare computers do not work on November 30th? What if the health insurance companies cannot process what could easily be fifty million requests for insurance by December 30, 2013? (There are only sixteen working days between November 30 and Christmas eve.) What if millions of people determine they simply cannot afford the new and significantly larger premium costs for health care insurance?

Is it possible or even probable that the number of people who will have insurance on December 31, 2013 and not have health insurance on January 1, 2014 is going to be five or ten million people? Will it grow larger every month in 2014 as individual plans expire?

Many things can be measured in the long term, but lives are lived day to day. The bottom line is that it is probably too late to avoid the reality that millions of people are suddenly going to have no health insurance on New Year's Day. In those millions, there are going to be families and individuals who will defer medical appointments or treatment and literally will die as a result. In those millions are families and individuals who will receive news of a terrible prognosis or have an accident of some sort that will drain them of every asset they have spent their lives accumulating. Sadly, this is not conjecture, it is a realistic prognostication.

This probability of disaster will not be limited to the uninsured. The new dramatically heightened deductibles will also cause families to defer or cancel appointments or treatments and some will also literally die as a result. And, of course, in many cases, the deferral of the appointments for care will result in more serious conditions and longer, more expensive recovery periods.

There are very few things that can be done. Ted Cruz may well be right that most of Obamacare should be scrapped. (There appears uniform agreement only on having a solution for pre-existing conditions.) But, being right is highly over-rated.

Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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