We've got problems, America. Big, fat, bloated problems. They're the kind of problems that aren't going to subside as long as our government is expanding at a rate twice the speed of Val Kilmer's waistline. Especially since, well, our government is the problem. I'm not talking about conspiracy theory stuff (we'll do that some other time). I'm talking about good old fashioned, black and white facts.
With the official rollout of Obamacare, millions of hardworking, taxpaying Americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket like never before in our nation's history. But let's face it. We all knew this would happen, right? This is what America voted for twice. This is what we were promised would "fundamentally transform" our nation (twice). The problem with that phrase is that while it sounds cool and looks good plastered on a poster board sign at a campaign rally, no one really knew what kind of "transformation" our president had in mind. But now, as the dust of the last election has settled and the overrated hype of the government shutdown is over, things have become much clearer (at least for the people who pay attention).
A recent Gallup poll cited that over half of Americans today want the Affordable Care Act repealed (survey conducted October 12-13, 2013). Although this is down from 57 percent in January 2011, it still speaks volumes when you consider that the percentage of people who changed their mind in some way, decided that the act should instead be "scaled back" and modified rather than repealed altogether. So in essence, the poll still shows that almost 60 percent (if not more) of Americans are unsatisfied in some way with Obamacare.
My guess is that come January 2014, most low information voters (you know, the ones who voted for Obama because he hangs out with Jay-Z, dances with Ellen DeGeneres and doesn't mind showing off his six pack on the beach) are going to have panic attacks when they see their new health insurance bills. In fact, if you're a current healthcare customer, you've likely already received a letter from your provider saying, "Hey there, you loyal and valued customer. Because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, here's how bad you'll be getting screwed next year." Even more frightening is the fact that the majority of insurance providers are telling their customers, "We will automatically enroll you in your new Obamacare-compatible healthcare plan." Gee thanks.
So it turns out that the Affordable Care Act won't be so affordable after all (for customers and the government). This is what low information voters won't understand because they've been too busy praising Obama for handing out free cell phones and more food stamps. In their minds, Obama was going to lower premiums across the board, fix our healthcare system and part the Red Sea better than Moses could have ever dreamed of doing.
The costs associated with Obamacare, however, are not the issue. They are a side effect of the actual problem. Here's the bigger picture. Put down your latte, Budweiser or infant and pay attention. There is a major ideological flaw in the president's view of healthcare. Obama would have us believe that healthcare (specifically health insurance) is a right. It is not. It is a product. No one is entitled to healthcare just by being alive or by being an American. Healthcare is a paid service. Sounds harsh, I know, but it's the truth. Healthcare insurance is purchased by millions of hardworking, taxpaying Americans. For Obamacare to work, our government must increase the premiums of current healthcare customers to compensate for the free and/or "affordable" healthcare it will provide for those who previously had no healthcare or had "substandard" healthcare. You know, spreading the wealth around to make sure things are "fair" for everyone. There's just one problem with that. It's not fair for the Americans who get stuck with the increased premiums. It's not fair for the healthcare provider companies being forced to modify or, in some cases, completely change their plans under the new Obamacare regulations. It's not fair for the young people now required to pay penalty fines if they refuse to sign up.
Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama repeatedly promised, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." We now know this is not true. Millions of Americans are losing their plans. Of course, you have the option of ditching your provider and heading over to healthcare.gov to join in on the Obamacare craze, which is obviously our president's ultimate goal because that means more government control over your life. Just a warning though: if you sign up for Obamacare, prepare yourself for less coverage and a deductible that'll make you want to move to Fiji (personally, I'm packing swim trunks, a snorkel and my Nepali sherpa Rahul).
There are thousands of American college students and single adults over the age of 27 all across the country who do not want healthcare. They are healthy enough to live without it and would rather wait until they graduate and land careers that will provide them with health insurance benefits. Unfortunately, these guys and gals will now be forced to pay fines if they do not sign up for Obamacare via a website that, by the way, hasn't worked since it debuted (seriously, I could've eaten a box of WebEasy(c) software and crapped a more efficient site). This does not bode well for the Obama administration when you consider that Obamacare was largely marketed toward young people. The president is relying on this crowd to propel the law forward and get it off the ground. However, a large demographic of young people have elected to simply pay the $95 penalty fine just to get the government off their backs for a year.
Requiring someone to purchase something that they either cannot afford or do not want is illegal and, more importantly, unconstitutional. President Obama has had over three years to emerge from the train wreck that was his first term, step up his game, put our country on the right path and be a leader. Instead, he seems content to implement failed policies, spout divisive rhetoric and attempt to break Tiger Woods record for most consecutive golf swings. He's not solving problems. He's creating new ones and worsening the ones we already had (I'll take "national debt" for $17 trillion, Alex).
Speaking of problems caused by Obamacare, I've just realized a horrible truth. Rahul is too fat to fit in my duffle bag.