Krauthammer is Wrong

By Greg Scandlen

A few weeks ago Charles Krauthammer made a splash on Fox News by advising Republicans not to defund ObamaCare. He said:

“I am skeptical about taking away the funds because what it will do, it will poke holes in the system. It will make it more chaotic. It will allow some things to be enacted, others to be more slowly or clumsily enacted. In the end, if healthcare collapses or if it becomes utterly unworkable, the Democrats will have a way of saying ‘well, it was all these injuries inflicted by the Republicans that made it not work.”

But like a lot of political commentators, Mr. Krauthammer is focused entirely on the political shenanigans in Washington. He seems unaware that all across America an awful lot of people are investing a lot of money on what they see as the new opportunities presented by ObamaCare.

Politico reports that on the other side of the continent, in San Francisco, thousands of investors are placing bets on the idea that ObamaCare will be implemented pretty much the way it is. In an article headlined, “Investors See Health Law’s Potential,” they report:

As Republicans push forward on repealing health reform, planning the law’s demise, a different conversation is happening among thousands of health care investors gathered in San Francisco for this week’s J.P Morgan Health Care Conference: how to capitalize on health reform’s new business opportunities.

One example is Aetna, that is salivating over all the new business coming to it in the Exchanges:

Aetna is exploring how to capitalize on the individual market, expected to boom in 2014 when Americans must purchase health insurance or pay a fine. “We have major efforts underway to strategize on how to take advantage of those opportunities,” said the insurer’s CFO, Joseph M. Zubretsky, in a presentation to health investors. “We’re clearly understanding the risks…but with millions coming on to the health exchanges, one needs to not only balance risk but really understand the opportunity for growth that exists in this market place.”

Another is Molina Healthcare that sees major profits in Medicaid expansion:

Molina Healthcare, a company that has a large book of business in Medicaid, listed the millions of Americans who will become newly-eligible for Medicaid as a “health reform growth opportunity” in an investor presentation.

Add to that the millions of dollars being spent by employers, hospitals, drug companies, and physician practices on software up-grades, consulting and legal fees, and conferences to learn how to comply with the new requirements, and we are building an enormous infrastructure of businesses that are quite literally invested in this new law.

Once up and running, these interests will not want to throw away the effort. Even if they opposed the bill originally, they will soon become the biggest defenders of it.

That is why it is absolutely critical that implementation be slowed down in any way possible and as soon as possible. These companies need to understand that it is premature to invest a lot of money in this monstrosity. They need to hedge their bets and wait for the dust to settle. Talking about what we might do in 2013 will not cut it. We have to show them today that ObamaCare is on the ropes.


3 Responses

  1. You are so right.

  2. Is there any part of PPACA (Obamacare) that you feel is worth preserving? Maybe I’m being seduced by simplicity or political expediency , but if the individual mandate were removed or would permit HSAs to have the same tax advantages as insurance/managed care, would you still oppose it?

    Would this be based on principle (government forced purchasing) or the distortions some say will be caused by the law?.

    On paper, the law does attempt to cover the uninsured and people with pre existing conditions, and children under 27 without health insurance — which most people would see as a positive, even if they didn’t like the way the law was enacted.

    The free market isn’t perfect. That’s why Medicare and Medicaid were created. The free market hasn’t covered the gaps. Vouchers could be used for all of these population segments but there is still the issue of catastrophic events. And I think given the tenure of Medicare and Medicaid — 45 years and counting — it would be difficult to convince the majority that it should be scrapped for a voucher system.

    Just some thoughts/questions.

    Donation on its way.


    • Mr. Ozga, The “mandate” as it is delivered in the new law is the worst part of the legislation. Aside from the fact that it is unconstitutional to force citizens to buy something, The mandate is the head of the snake. If it goes the rest of the legislation becomes completely unworkable.

      If it (mandate) is left in and we only nibble around the edges of the law (which is the hope of its supporters), we are really no better off than before. Costs will skyrocket, the federal government will be dictating terms from A to Z (which can only end with forced rationing), and eventually carriers will become merely administrators for a single payer system.

      We cannot be a little bit pregnant. We will have either a government run system or a free market system. With regard to the “uninsured” and the problem with “medical underwriting”, there are many less draconian solutions than Obamacare.

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