Obamacare vs. Romneycare yes there is a difference.

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S. Lindsey
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Joined: 12/31/2008

In this blog we are going to explore the similarities and differences of the two programs.

Many in the media and those with certain ideologies like to point out that Romneycare is the same thing as Obamacare. There are many difference and similarities perhaps hundreds but for brevity purposes I am going to focus on just the main points.

1. First Romneycare is a State ratified and constitutionally allowable function of a State Government. It was enacted in 2006 by both houses of Massachusetts Government. Governor Romney signed the bill. What is not known, however, is that Romney vetoed 8 of the provisions. Provisions that forced employers to provide coverage, provisions that would have greatly expanded the role of Government and their control and provisions that greatly expanded the cost over what was sold to the public. In Mid May 2006 the Legislature overturned those vetos and moved forward with the full weight of Government sponsored healthcare.

a. The Similarities.

i. Much like Obamacare.. Romneycare..Government controls healthcare and technically forces an individual to have healthcare under threat of a tax penalty.
ii. It was sold to the public as a way to decrease healthcare cost by stopping people using Emergency rooms as healthcare clinics. It was also sold that it would only cost $279.00 per year employer cost and $18.00 per month employee contribution.
iii. The program was sold to the public as a way to cover the 500,000 uninsured citizens.

1. The Outcome

a. Cost have skyrocketed, corruption has skyrocketed. In 2010 an independent study found that many people are using the “part-time” enrollee option paying $1200-$1600 in medical insurance and gaining $10,000 plus in benefits.
b. Healthcare cost has actually risen dramatically due to people using the system while paying almost nothing in cost. Medical systems are providing 100% care while only receiving 60% of the return cost. As a result Medical cost to Insurance and Private payees has jumped 27%.
c. Although the program has been successful in some respects the program only saw a 4% reduction in uninsured citizens.. Many wait until they need healthcare and then enroll since one of the provisions pre-existing conditions cannot be used to exempt someone from enrolling.

Obamacare…

1. Romneycare is a State Governmental function. What I mean by this is under their Constitution and the US Constitution specifically the 10th Amendment. States are allowed to create whatever programs the “People” or their “Duly Elected Representatives” wish to enact. If or should the “people” of Massachusetts decide they no longer wish to participate they can petition their Representative to repeal all or parts of the program. If their Representative refuses to bend to the will of the people they can be primaried and voted out and another voted in to fulfill the wishes of the people.

a. Obamacare similarities

i. Much like Romneycare…Obamacare main theme is centralized healthcare utilizing centralized Government. Additionally the “Affordable Care Act” forces citizens to buy healthcare under a tax penalty. If you a healthy and do not want to buy healthcare you will have to pay a tax enforced by the IRS in order to not participate.
ii. Obamacare like Romneycare was sold to the American people as a way to control the rising healthcare cost by decreasing the total number of persons utilizing the ER system thus freeing that system up for true emergencies.
iii. Also like Romneycare it was sold to the American public that anywhere from 15-40 Million people needed and wanted healthcare and this would supply healthcare to these individuals. These individuals use the Emergency system for common ailments causing a strain on the Medical system reducing resources and raising cost.

1. The Outcome…

a. A tax is a tax is a tax no matter how many times you call it a fee or penalty. This goes against the fundamental belief that most Americans have that Government should not be able to force us into commerce if we do not want to. If Government can force us to buy a product what can the Government not force us to do?
b. Like Romneycare part of the provisions of Obamacare is the exemption of pre-existing illnesses. So an individual could and most likely will, pay the penalty until they get sick then pay the buy in fee and then use Thousands, if not Tens of Thousands of dollars of healthcare resources. Resulting in a predictable cost increase and a reduction of services would ensue.
c. In August 2012 the CBO reported that 30 million Americans would still remain uncovered even after the full implementation of Obamacare. The program was sold to the American people that 40 million people would be covered, healthcare for all and Government would control the cost. However, it seems that even though the act was held in total by the Supreme Court we would still not cover the majority of Americans that have no insurance. Addtionally the cost was original estimated and sold to us as a $826 Billion dollar program but again the CBO now estimated the cost to be $1.6 Trillion and all the cost have not been tallied since most of the programs don’t even start until 2015. Remember we have 10 years of taxes for 6 years of coverage.

It is important to remember the two separate issues of the two healthcare programs.

1. Romneycare is a State program subject to acceptance by the people of the State if the program falls out of favor the people can simply end the program. Obamacare is a National program which by its very nature becomes almost impossible for the people to cease or change without a major uprising by the majority.
2. Cost.. In both programs costs are rising beyond projections. Looking at Massachusetts cost has not dropped. Actually cost has increased and resources are dwindling because of the very nature of the program itself. In trying to cover everyone pre-existing illnesses are exempted, thus someone who has not paid a dime into the system can now have unlimited access to the resources of the system to the tune of potentially Millions.

Universal Healthcare like the One Size Fits All shirt is not truly universal. By trying to bring equality to all the end result is inequality for most. Those that need it most will benefit the most but pay the least, conversely those that need it the least will benefit the least but pay the most.

Look at our current system those that are taxed the least receive the most benefits/services from Government those that are taxed the most receive the least benefits/services. In any system if you are on the fringe not really needing the program but could receive the benefits you are going to take the resources offered. More and more employers are going to opt out of the “Company” supplied program and let their employees opt in the Government system further taxing the resources.
We are already in debt to the point that our Children’s, children will not be able to pay it off how is it we can afford to absorb more and more debt for less and less outcome?

Like most things of a Social nature it sounds good, looks good on paper but in reality it just doesn’t work. Just ask any Communist or Socialist Country.

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