Time For A Check-up: Four Years of Obamacare

This past month marked the four-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law. It’s been a bumpy ride for both parties, with Republicans struggling to devise convincing alternatives and Democrats dealing with delayed deadlines and faulty websites. Both sides have their respective success and horror stories, and have carefully selected the data that serves them best for the upcoming midterm elections.

Amongst all this kerfuffle and brouhaha, rarely do we take the time to step back and look at the last four years with perspective. Perhaps a more comprehensive look at the landscape of Obamacare will help gain a more meaningful understanding of its effects.

The whole idea behind a nationalized healthcare revolution was that consumers were frustrated with the market approach as it stood. Issues like pre-existing conditions, required emergency room care, Medicare and Medicaid emerged as the hot-button issues that the government saw as problems only they could fix. But therein lies one of the major problems.

Nationalized healthcare was a response to the need for healthcare  insurance, not primarily a need for increased healthcare quality. This seems to have created a sense of cognitive dissonance in the minds of many Americans, as the concept of government-run healthcare does not and cannot mean better service. Sure some individual premiums may go down, but the kind of quality healthcare that consumers are looking for will inevitably be found wanting.

As to the overall success of the law to date, Democrats have boasted an approximated 6 million sign ups ever since the administration learned how to create a website. 6 million? Sounds like a big number. However, an overwhelming minority are first-time holders, according to reports by McKinsey & Co. When this is combined with the number of enrollees who have yet to actually pay for their plan and those who just signed up for Medicaid, 6 million becomes very insignificant very quickly.

In addition, according to a recent study by Pew Research, Obamacare’s approval rating is below 50% in the vast majority of demographic categories. And it still hasn’t even taken full effect! With how much difficulty the administration has had just getting the law off the ground amongst multiple delays and technical difficulties, the thought of implementation is nothing short of frightening. And over half of the country seems to agree.

So how has the ACA fared in its pediatric checkup?

  • The compromises for cheap service are detrimental.
  • Initial traction is fractional.
  • Overall approval is dismal.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than a Platinum Plan to cover this system. Four years out, we’re learning the hard way that insurance coverage is not the same thing as health care.

And for fun, check out The Heritage Foundation’s spoof on the Obamacare ad campaign to get covered: