Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WaPo: the ObamaCare component of President Obama’s legislative legacy

WaPo: the ObamaCare component of President Obama’s legislative legacy

August 16, 2016 / Kevin Dayhoff

When I was younger I loved writing about such things as the practice of medicine in Carroll County history and presidential history. Nowadays, not so much. But this is a rather fascinating academic assessment of one aspect of President Obama’s legislative legacy: “Obama’s legislative legacy comes down to this question: What if?” by Mike DeBonis:

“President Obama’s landmark health-care law came with a steep political cost, leaving a host of questions about his legislative legacy: Could health-care reform have been done in a different way? Could Democrats have kept control of Congress for another two years or more? Was Obamacare worth it?”

Anyway, I would rather have a root canal than talk with even good friends about the presidential election.

I recently read a piece on Facebook by a pastor that I have always looked-up to, who chastised another pastor for wading into the political waters because he advocated voting for a particular candidate.

Then this pastor proceeded to say disparaging things about one party and write glowingly about the other party. He essentially committed the same offense, only it was okay that he did it because he advocated voting for the opposite party than the pastor he had just chastised for advocating a political position... 

When I ask many folks that have left mainstream denominational churches, why they left; I hear several themes consistently. One they got tired of hearing that they ought to contribute more money to the church. And two, they did not want to hear from pastors about politics when they went to church.

As for President Obama’s legislative legacy - I know that if I ever went back into political office, I would sidestep some of the issues I took-on head-on years ago when I was an elected official. The price was simply far too high. I will forever shake my head over some of the legislative initiatives of past presidents. You would think that at that level of accomplishment, one would learn to avoid the perils and pitfalls of political third-rails.

For some additional context on the legacy of ObamaCare, read a recent article in The Hill on "Aetna pulling back from ObamaCare in blow to health law - In a blow to the health care law, Aetna -- one of the largest health insurers in the country -- announced Monday that it will significantly scale back its presence on the ObamaCare marketplaces next year..." Find it here:

Well, I am not a fan of Aetna – so I am not sure if this is a good thing or not…

Moreover, it is still far too early to determine the historic legacy of President Obama. Just like, for example, President John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman; from an historian’s point of view, some aspects of these administrations have stood the test of time well. Some not so much. I mean what in the world was President Truman thinking when he tried to nationalize the steel making industry? My partisan friends will not be amused to learn that presidential historians have come to consider President Bill Clinton as a conservative president and President Nixon a liberal president. Go figure.

Nevertheless, in addition to the recent article on the ObamaCare marketplaces, a number of business periodicals have carried recent articles that explain that once again, this year, the rise in the cost of healthcare is greater that wage increases.

For those of us who felt strongly that health insurance companies had abrogated its social contract with the greater community and that healthcare reform was an absolute necessity; many feel that we have taken two steps forward and three steps back. Take for example, pre-existing conditions. The position of the insurance industry to deny coverage to individuals because of pre-existing conditions, was nuts.

In the last several years I have worked closely with the healthcare delivery system on behalf of several family members and loved ones and my reaction is a mixed-bag.

Several steps into the local hospital and one enters a wormhole in which you quickly find that you are no longer in Carroll County. An esteemed local community leader who commented with the implicit understanding that he would remain anonymous, has recently reassessed his past glowing perception of the hospital and explained that today, “it is a very angry place. Avoid it.”

I have witnessed a number of folks retain attorneys before beginning negotiations with issues with respect to old-age care. In an era when many doubt that government can anything well, Medicare continues to be efficient and effective – but extraordinarily nuanced and complex. Regular folks going to the hospital do not stand a chance and they learn quickly that the social worker health care advocates are not on your side.

Anyway, give “Obama’s legislative legacy comes down to this question: What if?” by Mike DeBonis a read. At a time when so much partisan drivel is passed-off as journalism, Mr. DeBonis has presented non-partisan history junkies with a good read. Just saying. 

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