UNKEPT PROMISES

There once was a father who looked at his three beautiful children and announced that they would be going to Disneyland in three months. As the time approached, he lost his job, his credit cards were cancelled and he had no funds. He was in the unfortunate predicament of having an unkept promise to those he loved. Was he a bad person or a liar? No, he had made commitments that he couldn’t keep.

What does this have to do with the Affordable Health Care Act? Hopefully, nothing. However, common sense says the opposite. Rising health care costs threaten to cripple us in the future. Radical changes are needed. Over 10,000 people per day are turning 65 and this will continue for 19 years. These people will be beneficiaries of Medicare which is running deficits as we speak. The highest health care costs in our country happen in last three years of a person’s life. (Remember that $500 billion is being cut from Medicare.)The one promise that we can not make is that the cost of health care will drop. The only way to drop the cost of the payor (insurance company or government) is to lower benefits and charge more to the insureds. Both options make the insured pay more. The poor are covered by Medicaid. The burden will shift to the public in taxes, premiums, and increased claim sharing (lesser coverage). There is no way to avoid this.

It seems to me that giving the public choices in their type of coverage is one way to help. For example,the public should have the option to purchase less coverage if they want.The new law will remove choices especially as mandates continue to be added to the insurance. A mandate is a required coverage that also requires an increase in premium. The Affordable Care Act gives the Secretary of Human Services the unprecedented power to add mandates without any approval of the Legislature. As the mandates grow, so will the cost.

Like the father in our opening story, promises are being made that will not be kept. There are 100 pennies in a dollar. The best of intentions will not change that to 105. To make it work, services will need to be restricted, payments to physicians and hospitals will need to be renegotiated, and the quality of care will drop. I am not trying to be a negative person. The lemmings are headed toward a cliff and people are not allowed to make economical choices but are being forced into mandates that will only grow in time.

There is nothing wrong with Disneyland, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT.

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