It doesn't seem too smart for a retailer who has to make a profit to stay in business, does it? And it's particularly so if the store in question is in a rural or suburban or, actually, in almost any casual environment where the buyer will find another store and is sure to tell friends about the incident. It's incredulous, but that is exactly the kind of thing that has also happened to our healthcare with Obamacare and it's why it's on the way to the dustbin of bad ideas. The program, ultimately designed by Jon Gruber, an MIT academic, was created to promise Americans, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," while delivering much less because, paraphrasing Gruber, Americans are stupid and will accept anything.
Look, I get it that healthcare assistance is needed by many in various situations of life and I don't think that most who are adamantly opposed to Obamacare argue with that point. But to raise the premiums of thousands of hard working employees to the point where they will not, if they remain healthy, ever reach the threshold of some financial relief for healthcare costs while those less productive pay nothing is ludicrous. There is no such thing as a free lunch or free medical care and it's time to face the truth. If you are an American and you lose your group coverage, you will find yourself in this situation with premiums and deductibles exploding and the deductibles having to be fully met before any reimbursement is made. Sometimes these deductibles are as high as $12,000 per year while premiums have gone from $500-$600 to $1800 per month, sticker shock on steroids. And it is, as even Gruber admitted under testimony to Congress, all part of the "con job" perpetrated on Americans by Obamacare. It was never designed about healthcare; it was designed to gain control of nearly 20% of the economy and it is now an unmitigated disaster.
Let's instead look at programs that limit medical liability to a reasonable amount, allow insurers to cross state lines and thereby create larger pools of potential customers and regulate reasonably without requiring doctors to put filling out forms as a priority over one-on-one time with patients they see. There are a lot of good options to consider and their are ways to devise catastrophic coverage for those who want to pay for the "small stuff" on their own, but it won't happen by passing legislation with no input from the opposition where even the victors say: "You'll have to pass the bill before you can see what's in it." That statement still haunts former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to this day and lives on as a warning for future sessions of Congress.
So here are just a few key guiding points which will help focus on what the American public is clamoring for. Keep it simple and cost effective, put the emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship, tailor it to the diverse needs of different groups of citizens not a one size fits all concept, require everyone to pay something for care (since when it's free it's never appreciated and it's also abused), provide a feature to provide special assistance for those truly in need due to factors beyond their control and, finally, keep the oversight that is necessary as close to the people as humanly possible. It can be done if a system is designed by someone who truly understands the complexity of medicine and the importance of the art that good doctors practice, not a group of ideologues with a pre-planned concept of where they want it to go. Don't finish the destruction of the best medical system in the world. Learn from past mistakes and make it better instead. After all, many have learned an important yet sometimes tragic lesson. Just because you have an insurance card and carry insurance doesn't mean you'll get healthcare.