Turn back the clock to 2009. President Obama launched his first term, committed to bringing healthcare under government control. His team deftly manufactured a crisis, convincing America that millions of Americans had no access to healthcare, and that if we did not act quickly, healthcare costs would bankrupt us. Never mind that 85% of people had satisfactory health insurance, or that no one is ever turned away from a hospital in need of care. The President’s political allies and a compliant media sold their fairy tale, and after a contentious and highly partisan battle, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) was passed.
In the three years since the law passed, it is becoming increasingly clear to everyone that centralizing control of the healthcare economy in Washington is increasing costs, causing confusion and making the bureaucracy more difficult to navigate. With each passing month, new surprises are revealed, just as Nancy Pelosi predicted.
The newest revelation coming from Washington is the need for Obamacare Navigators. These individuals are “necessary” to assist people signing up for health insurance under the new state exchange systems. The “simple” 21 page application for federal insurance subsidies, along with the 61 page addendum, is apparently not quite as straightforward as promised. It has been suggested that these positions would be “awarded” to deserving individuals - supporters of this administration- union members, former ACORN employees, and other political cronies. The fact that voter registration has been included in the application suggests that only the “right people” will be hired as navigators.
The truth is that the ACA is not and never was intended to “fix” American health care. Its purpose is to place control of American’s health care in the hands of Washington bureaucrats giving them enormous power and control of the electorate. If there was any doubt about this reality, it is quickly evaporating as the details of the law become clearer with each new healthcare revelation, now happening almost daily.
The only possible way to accomplish the overly ambitious goal of providing health care for all, is with the creation of a massive and expensive new bureaucracy. The paradox should not be overlooked- healthcare spending is bankrupting our country, yet we are primed to spend far more money to create a massive bureaucracy in order to put it under government oversight.
How everyone could not predict what we are currently witnessing is amazing. The ACA created 159 new commissions, boards and departments. This translates into a huge, new and expensive bureaucracy. It has been predicted that in California alone, 20,000 navigators will be necessary, which means that nationally, hundreds of thousands will be needed. The number of new government employees needed to staff all of these new agencies is incalculable. Currently, 1/3 of Americans are covered by government financed healthcare, which accounts for 1/5 of our GDP. If some in Washington have their way, and healthcare is eventually totally financed by the federal government, the costs of running the bureaucracy will consume such a large part of our budget, that we will be able to afford little else.
With 20,000 pages of regulations already generated from the 2700 page ACA, we are witnessing the birth of a new bureaucracy, which may rival, if not surpass that of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The irony is that an integral part of the new healthcare system depends upon interconnectivity between these two massive agencies- HHS and the IRS- but we have learned in recent Senate testimony that no one has any idea how to accomplish this task.
Obamacare navigators were not necessary. We already had healthcare navigators in every community across America. They are called independent insurance agents. These are individuals with extensive training in the complexities of insurance benefits. The federal government wanted the control of the Obamacare enrollment in the hands of bureaucrats, not the private sector. This one example is illustrative of how the political class believes that things run better out of Washington than out of our own communities.
This is just the beginning; it won’t be long before the next Obamacare surprise. The ACA was never about healthcare; it has been and will always be about control and power. We should be grateful to Ms. Pelosi for her honesty. She said that we would find out what was in the bill once they passed it, and we have. We now know the truth about this law, which is impossible to hide and equally impossible to carry out.
Hal Scherz is the President & Founder of Docs4PatientCare. He is a full time pediatric urologist at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and a clinical associate professor of urology at Emory University.
Please visit http://www.docs4patientcare.