Some Issues Can’t Wait!
In preparing to publish Part 3 of the Count the Cost Series on Buying a Home, I felt there was a more pressing subject that needed to be addressed right away, and by many. As such, I ask you the reader to please forgive my interruption of this series and know that I will publish Part 3 in mid-October.
As October 1st is just around-the-corner and so many Americans are still confused about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, it seems only fitting to try to address the many articles and viewpoints being expressed nationally that are for-or-against this seemingly unpopular legislation. Hopefully, this article will be fair and balanced in its approach; although I must say that I am writing [this article] because like Social Security, I believe that the Affordable Care Act is going to become one of America’s greatest legislative achievements.
There Is Good Precedent for Our Differences
And finally, when the Social Security Act of 1935 was enacted by Congress during the term of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the public outcry was extremely audible but contrastively muted by the millions of Americans whose social well-being was about to improve. There was no question that after the Great Depression and catastrophic losses of both property and lives, something major needed to happen. There was an outcry for sure, but not for our nation to remain a spectator of events but rather to take decisive action that might offer remedy to those millions of Americans who were poor , disabled and hurting, and without hope.
A House Divided
Well, the same outcry has permeated the airwaves within our nation today. With over 35 million Americans with no healthcare coverage, some 12% of our nation’s population and, in many cases to no fault of their own, a long-term infectious ailment has finally worsened. While the merits of why so many people are without adequate [or any] healthcare coverage today can be debated, are we really more concerned with the ideological view that some people are undeserving because they do not care for themselves, or others are simply poor money-managers? Clearly, both types are integral to any discourse of reforming a national social program. But, to what end is such a debate or discourse beneficial?
Let’s not get hung up on the rhetoric that has been ever vigilant in keeping a national debate on healthcare at the forefront. Keep in mind that such a debate has multiple sides and not just two. There are the taxpayers and the beneficiaries, the politicians (or elected officials) and their political affiliations who dig their heels in the sand, and there are the various businesses and professions in the legal, third-party administration, medical manufacturing, pharmaceutical, dental and medical fields that must also weigh in. All told, many voices have differing views in part because they are personally, professionally and, in some cases invested significantly in the potential outcomes of this social reform issue.
So, who’s Right?
Let’s Look Within Ourselves and Find the Answer
Now, some might say that America is not the Nation of Israel, and we are not living in the time before Christianity came on the scene. However, is the issue of the poor or the moral commitment to help those in need any less relevant in our day than thousands of years ago? In the NT Gospels, Jesus refers to this sobering truth about the poor as always existing within a nation’s borders—alluding, of course, to the Old Testament facts above—but His context also had to do with the right for any of us to prefer Him over the poor. So, His message is actually two-fold:
- A fact about the poor, but also:
- An exhortation that in His short time on earth that His presence should take precedent in what others focused on.
Truth and “Untruthful” Consequences
Another concern is that somehow the general cost of healthcare services will go up significantly. My question would be on whom will these cost escalate? Advertising campaigns against the healthcare law have presented images of older and not-so-healthy Americans who say their rights are being taken from them to visit their current doctor, specialist or to have the freedom to choose whoever they will. And the medical professionals are saying that their current rates for service will naturally rise because they have to reduce their billing to those who cannot pay or can only afford to pay less. Here are two more distortions of the actual law.
No one will be required to see any healthcare professional they do not want to see, unless they are part of a PPO (Preferred Professional Organization/Association). Well, that is exactly how medical insurance and medical professions have grouped themselves and are paid today. Nothing about these facts changes under the new law. And, as for the notion that some who cannot pay will be subsidized at the expense of the medical professional is a really bad distortion. Truth is, future billing schedules that healthcare company and independent professionals put out do not have to change. Americans qualifying for healthcare under the ACA, and even for subsidies, will have a specific healthcare plan that entitles them to certain services which are covered under their plan, or that may require them to pay a higher premium for a better plan. The only change from existing medical coverage today is that as on October 1st, millions more Americans become eligible to obtain the services of the current professionals, which—in turn—dramatically increases their business opportunities without causing them to charge less for care.
Still Feeling the Same about the Affordable Care Act?
My final thought is this. What is it that Wal-Mart discovered that may have overlap with healthcare? I think the success that Wal-Mart gained was in choosing a different business model than their retail competition. They built huge stores that allowed many businesses to be under one roof, thus generating tenant revenues. But, even bigger was the idea of volume discount, that is, the more of something we can sell for less, the more we will sell. Wal-Mart set itself apart from most competitors by using this strategy, and today they are heralded as one of the world’s most successful companies.
And, think about it this way. Ask any professional salesperson in the insurance, medical equipment, banking or real estate industries whether they would like to have millions of new customers/clients waiting for their services. Only the foolish among them would say no. My point simply, in a few months millions of Americans guaranteed to be eligible to have healthcare insurance will be hitting the marketplace and registering via exchanges seeking medical services. Should this really be seen as a problem by any professional genuinely seeking to help others medically, or who are interested in making more $ by serving more people?
An Objective Summary and Prayer
Soon the sound of Ca-ching! Ca-ching! will pour over into many industries: such as preventative care services, higher education and training, nutritional food manufacturers, and other professions as well. So, why not keep our minds and biases in check and let’s consider those fellow Americans that will now realize that we—as fellow taxpaying citizens—do care for one another, just like after Katrina and 9-11, and are here to help.
If you have an opinion or other thoughts to share, please tell us. We value your feedback and we want to share truth and practical advice whenever we can. Please add your comments so we can begin real dialogue on this important topic. Thank you!
- Is this helpful? Please let me know in the comments below what you’d like to watch and read more of.
- Do you know someone who will find this conversation just as interesting as you? Take a second and use the social buttons below to share it with them. I create these blog posts and videos for you, and your closest friends.
Copyright © 2014 | LifePlanning Institute, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.