Opinion: Do You Care About Obamacare?

Does bad government become our excuse not to be best in class?

Mitch Morrison, Vice President of Retailer Relations

Obamacare Affordable Care Act Healthcare.gov

[Editor's Note:The White House on Thursday announced that more than six million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces since Oct. 1, one million short of the goal set for the Affordable Care Act. The administration said what it is calling a "surge" in individual signups ahead of the March 31 deadline has necessitated an extension to mid-April. In July, the administration announced a delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015.]

NEW YORK -- I wanted to believe in the Affordable Care Act.

It was 2010. Democrats had taken over the legislative and executive branches two years earlier, and fixing a pothole-replete health-care system was at the top of their to-do list.

I was frustrated with the GOP. The idea that millions of folks with pre-existing illnesses could be priced out of quality health coverage was immoral to me.

I had a bias, I admit. I have a close relative with multiple sclerosis and saw how her premiums would soar were she to switch jobs and thus be treated as an "other," a high risk, a bad investment, a commodity--not a human being.

Republicans, under a Bush White House and with elephants patrolling both houses, had every chance to fix this prejudice, as well as other known cracks in the health-care system.

They didn't. Nor did they try.

So, while Obamacare was, in my opinion, a governmental overreach, there were important components of the law I supported. And based on the idea of overhauling one-sixth of our nation's GDP, I accepted there would be challenges and setbacks.

Four years later, I am vexed.

There is much to like and much to dislike about Obamacare. In our comprehensive cover story by Angel Abcede and Melissa Vonder Haar, you will no doubt nod in agreement with the aggravation and uncertainty many in our industry are confronting. You may also find certain pieces of the ACA that you embrace.

Read more in the April issue of CSP magazine.

What's bothering me? Several things:

  • Obama the Communicator: Professorial in style and charismatic when needed, President Obama is not a great communicator. Lacking Reagan's reassuring calm and Clinton's ability to translate the complex into the comprehensible, Obama comes across as aloof and indifferent. He seems insensitive toward the genuine concerns about significant flaws in the health-care reform.


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