My readers know how I like writing government-related columns about which I know little or nothing at all. But I figure no one else knows much about what our national leaders are up to either.
So, let me take on ObamaCare, based on what little I can figure out about it.
Iíll admit I was selfish. I have Medicare and a good supplement plan for my health care. And I do OK affording my out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions. Itís still expensive, but manageable. So, I really didnít care about ObamaCare because the original pledge was if you liked what you had, you could keep it. I reasoned that if the plan turned out to be a nightmare, it would be someone elseís nightmare.
Apparently, that promise may go the way of other broken government promises.
If itís such a great idea, why do so many agencies want exemptions and waivers to avoid it? Congressional leaders, government officials, and even the Presidentís family will reportedly not be involved in the plan.
Now, again, this is just stuff Iím hearing from non-government sources mixed in with the double talk we get from Washington. Maybe thereís some truth in the middle of all the talk. Maybe not.
The Teamsters, UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), and UNITE-HERE (Hospitality services, etc.) have soundly denounced ObamaCare as a ďmonstrosity.Ē Now, the IRS employee union also wants to be exempted from Obamacare.
The Teamsters and other groups have said something like (Iím paraphrasing):
When Congress and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we were promised that if we were satisfied with what already have, we could keep it. Sadly, that promise is threatened. Right now, unless legislators and the Obama administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.
From what I understand, because of ObamaCare, many will be pushed into a 30-hour work week, something that many experts and just plain folks say will create profound economic and cultural setbacks, mostly hurting the middle and lower-middle classes.
Worse, the fact that we may not get to keep our existing health care.
Those who managed to wade through the first several hundred pages of the Affordable Care Act confirm that possibility. And, even as clueless as I am about personal money matters, I didnít believe it wouldnít raise the federal deficit by ďone dime,Ē even when the president promised that. After those ďsweet nothings,Ē some months later, Obama, at a press conference, answered a reporter,"We didn't think we would cover 30 million people for free.Ē
Duh, ya think?
The average American, whether red state or blue state, figured out early on what the big unions have recently discovered.
In my opinion ó and this is an OPINION column ó ObamaCare will do far more harm than good, not only to our countryís present health care system and economy but to the majority of Americans who are currently covered by either private or workplace plans. It makes no sense that we should lose coverage satisfactory to the majority (253.4 million) to accommodate 20-30 million, depending on whoís reporting the numbers.
No, wait! It would make sense IF the goal was eventually a national health service, but thatís another column.
Regarding the convoluted, full-of-unpleasant-surprises ACA, Nancy Pelosi said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.Ē Well, itís passed, but nobody, including Congress, knows whatís in it.
As a result, many federal agencies have been granted exemption from participation.
Donít get me wrong. I strongly advocate access to quality, affordable health care for all American CITIZENS. But this notion doesnít seem to match the reality of whatever Obamacare ultimately turns out to be.
Since unions, members of Congress, and other government policy makers pushed it, they should have to live with the results just like the rest of us. If they think itís so great, then they need to enjoy its fabulousness along with the rest of us.
The latest exodus from ObamaCare is not only ironic, itís infuriating. The IRS, as the primary enforcer of the plan, wants a waiver. Great, we donít trust them anyway, and now theyíre going to have even more access into our personal information. Itís particularly loathsome that the same bureaucrats enforcing the ObamaCare Tax on the rest of us think they, themselves, should be exempted.
PLEASE, someone tell me I donít know what Iím talking about, and everything is going to be just lovely.
Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.