As I watch the coverage of the 2016 elections, I have concluded that each person running for office has forgotten who they are running to represent. I am listening to Congressional Representatives pledge their support to a particular Presidential candidate.
Here is my concern. Congressional Representatives do not work for the Presidential Candidate or the party they belong to, Congressional Representatives work for the people that elected them and every decision they make regarding the legislation they support should be the desire of the people in the district they represent.
But, it appears that our elected representatives have forgotten whom they work for. The voters in each district elect people that make promises of the positions they will take on various issues and the voters select the person that, they believe, best represents their own positions on the world. However, once elected, these representatives seem to forget the voters and shift their allegiance to the demands of a party structure.
While the party may have an agenda that they believe is in the best interests of the country as a whole, that is not the concern of every voter and therefore, the concern of every representative. It is apparent that each party has decided to implement an agenda and this becomes the overriding desire for each party but may not be in the best interests of each voter.
Let's start with an example. At the beginning of the Obama administration, the Democrats controlled the majority in each House of Congress. This allowed the Democrats to pass the ACA (soon to be called Obamacare) in each House without any support from the Republicans. The ACA was passed with a simple majority in each House with the Democrat control of both Houses, however, the Democrats did not have enough votes to force passage in the Senate on a straight vote. This was by-passed by the Democrats using a procedural rule, because the ACA was passed by each House so the Democrats used a reconciliation agreement to avoid a straight up vote in the Senate.
There were a number of issues with the passage of the ACA, many representatives were given special considerations in order to get their vote. In other words, they knew there was a problem with the program but were willing to put aside the needs and expectations of the voters so that the party would be able to pass the program. If the ACA was a good program, this would not be a problem but, as time has taught us, ACA is bad. Yes, this a rather dramatic claim but let's start with the behind the scenes of the people that designed the program, using Prof Gruber. Prof Gruber clearly stated, in a private meeting that was secretly recorded, that the success of the ACA would rely on the stupidity of the voters to accept the claims of the program.
Next, during the implementation, the voters were lied to by the Obama administration in order to build up support for the program. Obama specifically stated that no policies would be eliminated, "if you like your policy, you can keep it". This was a lie, a pure and simple lie because Obama knew that the ACA specifically declared that certain policies would be not permitted under the program, causing you to lose your policy even if you like it. That was the first lie. The second lie was financial in nature, promising that every family wold end up with annual savings of $2500 in health care costs. Once again, a lie, perhaps unintentional, but he had no way to know that there was any way for this claim to be fulfilled, over time, it was not. The only way to know what the financial impacts would be would be the passage of time and Obama made the wrong GUESS.
The problem with the ACA program is very simple, it was intended to provide a means for low income people would be able to get coverage. The problem for low income people getting coverage is the cost of the coverage. In the insurance market place, the cost of coverage can be high based on the way the health are industry has been moving. The cost of a stay in the hospital has continued to move upwards due to a number of issues and contrary to the claims of many, the problem is not the number of wealthy doctors. The problems are the result of additional costs that hospitals must incur in order to protect themselves, financially. Every patient has the potential of becoming a lawsuit. These potential lawsuits require the hospitals to pay for insurance coverage and these costs have continued to climb, becoming a significant portion of the cost structure of the hospital.
ACA was designed to provide the means for a source of coverage at a price that a poor person could afford. It is important to note that once your income exceeds a specific level, they don't care about helping you control your cost, you are subject to the whims of the market. This program provided for a policy holder to receive subsidies in their premium costs and these subsidies would be paid by the people that did not get premiums, in other words, you pay for yourself and part of someone else. But that is not the real problem, the real problem is the structure of insurance.
Insurance is designed to spread the costs of the entire insurance policy holder base over the entire customer base. This is done by projecting the costs to be incurred and spreading that cost over the premiums, that is the source for part of the premiums. The rest of the premiums is based on the projected amount of the cost for each patient and how much will be paid by the patient and how much will be paid by the insurance. The amount paid by the patient is referred to as the deductible, in other words, when a patient wants to enter a hospital, they predict how much the hospital stay will cost and the patient must pay the deductible amount first and then the insurance company will step in and pay the balance. Are you beginning to understand the problem? Here is a clue, the deductible is often more than $5,000. In other words, if you need to enter the hospital then you will need to pay the first $5000 IN ADVANCE. So, even if you have coverage and have been paying the subsidized premium, you must now cough up $5000 to enter the hospital - how many poor people do you know that have $5000 sitting around waiting for a hospital stay?
So, needless to say, there are problems with ACA and most important, when it was being passed in Congress, the Democrats stated that the only way to find out what was in the program was to pass it. The Democrats did not want the program read and evaluated in advance, they wanted to force the program on the people without having any idea of the limitations or restrictions. While there is no doubt that this analysis is biased, there are not many issues which can be argued. However, this entire process is an example of the Congressional Representatives actually failing to do what is best for the voter. The Democrat party had an agenda to provide health care for millions, at the cost to others, without regard to the actual value of that coverage. The Democrats are more interested in quantity as compared to quality.
So, the question that must be dealt with is simple, did the failure of the representatives to do what was best for the voters result in a poorly conceived and developed program simply because the Democrat party had an agenda?