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The Fate of Obamacare

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

As someone who has spent a large part of my life starting new businesses, I know that repealing Obamacare without replacing it with something better will make it difficult for people to leave their jobs (with their health insurance) and start new companies. This, in turn, will strangle our economy. As politicians know, small businesses create most of the jobs in this country (and definitely not tax breaks for large corporations).

Ironically, Jen Sorensen, the creator of this comic, has the same problem. Here’s what she says about it:

I realize Obamacare wasn’t perfect — my own premiums have spiked, in part because so many people in Texas had gone without coverage for so long that they overwhelmed the system. But I’d still take the Affordable Care Act over what we had before any day. As a self-employed person, health insurance has been the bane of my existence for much of my career. For a few blissful years, I didn’t have to worry about it. Now I’m back to worrying. Why does Trump hate small businesspeople?

Of course I wish we had universal health care like most other industrialized nations on earth, but that wasn’t politically possible at the time Obama sought reform, and something had to be done. The ACA saved lives, and for that I’m grateful.


Also published on Medium.

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16 Comments

  1. Hassan wrote:

    One of the issue here is that some people take their experience and apply to others. Are some people happy about ACA? Well I assume you and Sorensen, had that experience. Do some people extremely hate ACA? Yes including me as small business owner and an individual over 5-6 years.

    So issue here is the mandate. I mean I do not mind or care what other individuals or businesses doing. But now because you wanted to be happy, you dragged me into it. And more funny part is that Obama and liberals keep bragging that records number of people have insurance now. Well I am sure America will have record number of military recruits if there is draft. So did anyone ask how many people were forced into system without their choice.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  2. Wildwood wrote:

    Hassan, the studies I have seen, (and I could not find many), found that well more than half are generally happy with having the ACA. That said, I’m on Medicare and I’m very happy with it. It would have finally allowed me to drop our company sponsored plan for something much less expensive on the open market. Something told me not to do that until the ACA had been around for a while, because once we drop that plan we can not go back. Now with the new congress, I’m glad I made that choice. The preexisting condition part will likely go away along with the ACA. I’m happy that they are regulating the amount that the companies can spend on things other than direct health care as well. That will go away with the demise of the ACA. I also believe that every single person should have some insurance. Every single person should be putting into the insurance pot so that every single person will have coverage if and when they need it. That’s how it works best. If it were up to me, we would all be on a Medicare plan of some kind. But with this congress we will be lucky if Medicare survives in one piece.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  3. James wrote:

    Just to keep this in perspective, when the plan was originally being pushed by the Heritage foundation, people who didn’t want to pay for private insurance were characterized as freeloaders …

    Health care in modern industrialized countries really isn’t different from defense. It can only be provided efficiently for everyone on an equal footing. Once you start breaking up the basic offering, the first thing to fall through the cracks is cost effectiveness and efficiency. Don’t agree? Find an example where this isn’t the case and I’ll be interested.

    The ACA was the best solution that the collective minds of those determined to avoid Single Payer could come up with after decades of trying. If the ACA is unacceptable, then the only other options are to give up attempts to reign in the carnivorous nature of unregulated private industry or try a version of what works in the rest of the world: Single Payer.*

    Our next choices are stark and simple: Either we’re all Fu**ed or we demand Medicare for all.

    * You’re still free to throw your own extra $$$ at private providers for a more comfy bed, a quicker consult, non-essential treatments, super-model nurses etc.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  4. Ed Alexander wrote:

    The most blantantly obvious solution is to join the rest of the world with a single payer system. If the big three auto makers could get away with making all of their cars in Canada they would because the benefits of the Canadian health care system outweigh any other competitive edge the US might have. The US and Burma used to be the only countries in the world not using the metric system, and I think Burma now has single payer health care now (although I just made that up)(so it might just be fake news)so you’re all alone now with your incredibly expensive and abusively unfair job killing system.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  5. Ralph wrote:

    Yeah, what James said!

    I’ve often argued healthcare is a national security issue, at root. I mean, if we can’t as a nation even secure the general health (as in “well being”) of our citizens, what the hell are we defending, if not big corporate interests, military flexing and profiteering?

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    No one of you are addressing the scam of medical care. Dermatologist “come back in one year” (so I can get your insurance money and buy a bigger yaght. Urologist “you don’t have to come back in a year, I have enough money” (he doesn’t scam people) ENT. “You have an enlarged thyroid, but you have no cancer. In a year and every year go have another ultrasound, then come see me.”
    “You need dental x-rays for your perfect teeth with no problems,” (as I have four children to put through college with what you pay me.)

    “Here are all the expensive medicines I get kick backs from” even though the same ingredients (albuterol in my case) cost 3 cents a day as compared to an inhalator of $100 per inhalator. Take Symbicort which was $300 per month before I stopped Medicare D. Same thing works with Prednisone which costs $1.80 a month. Both the Prednisone and albuterol costs come out of my pocket. Gosh.
    Since New York state has brakes on what percentage the insurances can spend on administration, each cut in what is spent on medical costs has to lower the lost of the insurance.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  7. john wrote:

    EBDOUG has good points. Healthcare costs more in the US, by design, to the benefit of the providers.

    However the cost of healthcare at the source is a different issue than how to finance it for the users.

    The two issues are related.

    Single payer financing would give the payer power over provider pricing.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:

    This is a repeat: Each person gets a health care card, baby at birth along with SS#. Still not quite single payer as the baby is on the parent’s until 26. As the parents file a tax return that they need to file (some file just to get earned income) the price of the policy is decided. The rich pay more so people like Trump who want to lower the taxes can do so, but the rich will pay more for health insurance (as I had to do the year Buffett bought Heinz).

    Of course Medicare is single payer and works beautifully.

    All that don’t NEED to file tax returns are put on Medicaid with the rich paying for it in taxes.

    All can buy more health insurance like Medicare Advantage, basically to protect assets.

    Please pass this on to your Washington Representatives.

    Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 4:41 am | Permalink
  9. paradoctor wrote:

    There are in practice 3 options regarding Obamacare:

    1. Damage but keep Obamacare, and rename it Trumpcare.
    2. Full repeal, no replace, market chaos, corporate death panels.
    3. Single payer, such as Medicare For All.

    The sane Republicans, and maybe Trump too, favor option 1 because option 2 leads to option 3 after mass suffering.

    And by the way, this is a preview of another 3 options:

    1. Damage but keep Social Security.
    2. Full repeal, economic chaos, mass suffering.
    3. Universal Basic Income.

    Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  10. Sam Foster wrote:

    Let’s never forget the premium spike was a feature not a bug. The health insurance companies demanded ACA get structured in such a way that premium spikes were inevitable.

    Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  11. Jonah wrote:

    I don’t understand the problem about mandate. If you want to provide insurance to everyone then the money has to come from somewhere. The alternatives are as if not more expensiva. Universal HC will be more expensive to the tax payer. There won’t be a mandate but there will be a higher tax. Depends on what you want to call it. Some may say that they don’t need insurance. But insurance is to prevent or to reduce the damage from the unthinkable. Why do small businesses have some type ofbusiness insurance? If something bad does happen and that person is not insured what happens? Either everyone else pays for that person or that person stays hurt and uses plants and herbs to fix broken bones!!!

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 4:18 am | Permalink
  12. Jonah wrote:

    Ouch Paul Ryan
    https://twitter.com/ddiamond/status/819799851089047556

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  13. Ralph wrote:

    Jonah – thanks for sharing that testimonial, even more compelling having come from a convert of the Reagan era. Undoubtedly many more such stories out there too. Congressional Democrats and sensible Republicans (if that’s not a total oxymoron now) should bring more such stories to the floor in future debates around this issue. They shouldn’t be hard to find, given defunding of Planned Parenthood is first on their hit list.

    Since the ACA was enacted, Republicans have attempted to repeal it more than 50 times without a single proposal of what they would replace it with, beyond the usual platitudes of letting the free and holy market take care of it, conveniently ignoring that the free market is what got us into this mess to begin with.

    Congress should be made to live under any ACA replacement plan they come up with. After all, they work for us, right? Of course even if so, they’re the only “employees” I’m aware of that can legislate their own pay raise, so any flimsy “voucher” program they concoct could simply exempt them under some obscure loophole conveniently written into another asswipe law. Or as Dickens might say, “The law is an ass”.

    Medicare for all, it’s as simple as that. Paid for with less guns, more butter. Until the public demands (and votes! votes! votes!) for affordable healthcare, unaffordable wars are primarily what they’ll continue to deliver us instead.

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    I don’t agree that it’s a given that universal care would be more expensive to the taxpayer. Why do people accept that meme? Look at what business has done to healthcare. With the government, it would be much more open to scrutiny.

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  15. Ralph wrote:

    I’m with ya Anon, it should be expected to come in less per capita than private insurance. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for MFA to come along with this new bunch. The ins cos have congress in their back pockets and are not about to be squeezed out. Perhaps someday, we can only hope.

    Realistically though, at this point the best we might hope for is that the SECOND wheel doesn’t come off the cart.

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  16. ebdoug wrote:

    Yes, but it was the government who agreed not to bargain costs of medications. I’m reading a book now called “Carlos the Ant” legal thriller based on the gouging of medications and insurance fraud. (fiction)

    Friday, January 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

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