Healthcare Reform: At Dot-Gov People Are Getting Dot-Hammered

Once a year I find myself writing something that isn’t edgy, something that could possibly be politically correct. Not today.

A lot may be learned by the words people use.  If someone says “It wasn’t about the money,” you know it was all about the money.  If the owner of a professional sports team with a losing record says he has full confidence in his manager, you know the manager is about to be fired.  If someone says “Can I be honest with you,” your instinct tells you to respond with “Probably not.”

There was a time a few years ago when the merits of the Affordable Care Act were…whoa Skippy, you cannot leave that sentence hanging around without comment, can you?

Words matter.  The Affordable Care Act.  I started screaming epitaphs at the title from the moment I heard it.  If the government felt the need to use the word affordable it made me think that the one thing it would not be was affordable.

More than half of those opining on the Sunday morning talk shows tried to steer the conversation in the direction that the problem was not with the Affordable Care Act.  The real problem, they said in a manner that reminded me of the scene in the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard entreated Dorothy and her entourage not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain, was the difficulty brought about by the website.  Whoa Skippy. 

A reporter from the Wall Street Journal was discussing healthcare reform on one of the Sunday morning talk shows.  She stated that in spite of the website’s poor design, those that have made it through the digital morass have proven that the problem with the Affordable Care Act is that it isn’t, affordable, that is.  The show’s moderator looked like he wanted to have the reporter drawn and quartered. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.  Queen Gertrud, Hamlet.

Raise your hand if you actually believed anyone’s costs would go down, if you believed healthcare would be more affordable for anyone.  My hand is not raised.  It was not raised three years ago either when I wrote that the Act was reforming the wrong stakeholder.

All along people were given the impression that the Act was directed at healthcare and the healthcare providers.  I wrote that the Act was the Dead Sea Scrolls of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit, with the payers screaming “Don’t throw me into the briar patch.”  The payers stuck to their talking points and had almost everyone believing their claims about how onerous it would be to give them thirty million more customers.  Woe is us…whoa Skippy.

I have a friend who works full time and earns minimum wage.  He went to dot-gov and got dot-hammered.  As stated above, the site worked fine, thank you very much CGI.  His problem is that the site worked, and the Act worked just as it had been designed to act.  He was entitled to an eighteen dollar assist.  His cost, for the bare minimum policy was three hundred and fifty dollars.

Whatever the end game of the Act, the one word that will not be used to describe it will be affordable.

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