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

USA Today media writer Rem Rieder put it well. He had no problem with Obama appearing on Zach Galifianakis' faux talk show, Between Two Ferns. Going to where the 20-somethings are makes perfect sense as a way to boost registration for the ACA. But Rieder railed against the president, who has pledged transparency, for preferring to talk to Comedy Central and The View over The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Serious legislation requires serious dialogue, not just laughs.

  • Making Good Bad: Addressing the uninsured and pre-existing illnesses is the headline of Obamacare. It is what makes this issue debatable. But there is something clearly wrong when a self-insured program such as Kwik Trip's, which is working well for its 11,000 workers, is threatened by big bureaucracy.
  • Consumer Appeal: Only one-fourth of people who have enrolled in the ACA are in the 18-to-34 age bracket, and the bulk of enrollees are middle aged. Is this really a shocker? We know that the younger you are, the more invincible you feel. So why is the administration surprised? Where are the campus programs? Where is the targeted marketing? Where were the conversations with the young to find out what they want? Where was the homework?
  • Politics: Let's end of the talk of repealing Obamacare. It's the law of the land and it passed legally and had enough public support.

However, it should come as little surprise that many Democratic lawmakers are tiptoeing around Obamacare as they face a potential bloodbath this fall with a rather mediocre Republican Party. It is not surprising that incumbent Democrats in swing states don't want Obama campaigning with them, nor do they want the mantle of health-care reform around their neck. If anything, ACA is a noose.

In short, Obamacare needs to be fixed--big time.

But what about us? Does bad government become our excuse not to be best in class? Can we do what's best for our employees and best for our businesses in spite of Washington?

Mike Thornbrugh's "yes" response is the best I've seen in any industry. Asked about Obamcare, Thornbrugh, QuikTrip's spokesperson, in effect, responded that he doesn't care.

"Our employees follow the news, they hear about other companies cutting back hours-- QuikTrip's not doing that, so it's a huge morale booster," Thornbrugh told CSP. "The only reason QuikTrip is successful is because of our employees. We're going to take care of them regardless of what the federal government does."

In the end, it's less about Obamacare and more about us.

Please send any comments on this column, as well as on health care, to Mitch Morrison at [email protected].


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