Obamacare: About To Take A Nasty Slip And Fall?

With the 112th Congress set to convene on January 5, one of the first targets of the new Republican House majority is Obamacare. Of the measures enacted in the past two years, the government’s expansive foray into the nation’s healthcare industry is the single most vilified. Is the President’s healthcare initiative about to take a nasty slip and fall over its own provisions and costs, never to rise again? If it does, is there, or should there be, a replacement?

As far as the first question goes, momentum is building for an authoritative, jolly good riddance to frighteningly bad legislation. Certainly, the majority of taxpayers reject it as too expensive and too intrusive. They also fear that, at the end of the day, Obamacare lowers the quality of healthcare in this Country. Are our only alternatives prohibitively expensive medical care for some or an unacceptably low caliber of care for all?

Or are tenable measures, whether state- or federal-based, possible to fix what’s broken in our approach to medical care? Will a post-mortem on Obama’s baby shed light on how to get healthcare healthy? Or is the Act itself so broken we need to start our examination from scratch? Should the problems even be fixed or is survival of the fittest the only sane path?

That Obamacare is bad legislation is difficult to deny, at least with a straight face. The cost and control analyses that should have been done before passage are now coming out in bits and pieces. And the news is uniformly bad, at least for a free society teetering on the brink of uncontrollable debt. What’s more, Obamacare damages the medical profession and, by extension, its patients. The only question now seems to be whether Congress, the Courts, the States or even a constitutional amendment will put it out of its misery. Personally, I vote for the judicial system, with a plea to the Supreme Court to take up the matter now and end the costly uncertainty.

What about after Obamacare takes that fatal slip and fall, if, indeed, it does? Unfortunately for us, the search for answers to the difficult healthcare questions continues to be led by a political posse. The horses may have different riders but, too often, the chase, regardless of the posse’s political stripe, leads up expensive box canyons.

Rather than picking over Obamacare’s carcass to make the next attempt better, why not take a completely different approach? How about using Obama’s bill as an example of why politicians should not craft solutions for industry-wide problems? End the secret wheels and deals in private meetings between the President, or any politician, and unnamed, but self-interested, industry members. Stop the midnight arm-wrenching and pork-packing to secure necessary votes. Put it all out front so taxpayers can understand what’s at stake and provide their input during Congressional deliberations.

Granted, our elected representatives would have to consider and pass any bill to effect a change. But, an independent panel of industry experts should be tasked with developing rational solutions. The key words here are ‘independent’, ‘experts’ and ‘rational’.

It’s not like Congress or the White House never appoints, or gets reports from, independent panels. In fact, they’re SOP in D.C. Just look at a few recent examples: the panel to recommend new military defense strategies; the panel to investigate the Gulf Oil Spill; and the panel that recommends mechanisms to prevent motor vehicle trunk entrapment. If Congress can’t stay out of a car trunk without expert advice, how will it ever solve our healthcare problems on its own? I mean, really.

If we can’t get away from partisan actors here, we can’t do it anywhere.

See you on the left-side.