My Personal Opinion About the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)
Everyone Has An Opinion; Here's Mine.
I think it is not good for this country when the number one issue, ever since President Obama took office, was the economy.
The one thing that the Affordable Care Act will do is cause more small businesses to stop or slow down their hiring due to the requirement to provide healthcare to all employees. At the very least, if small businesses do not provide healthcare, they will be penalized $2000 per year, which for some may just be less expensive than trying to get health coverage for all employees. I'm not even sure what the the IRS will do to business who just opt to pay the penalty, which could be another potential impact to small businesses.
Note that half of the new jobs that are created today come from small business. So the impact of this law will be felt by all, and the economy as a whole, will fail to recover faster. Even now, there is already a buzz about bad economic news this coming Friday (6 Jul 2012) when the employment figures are announced.
Keep in mind that the government isn't really the most efficient at doing most things that can be better left to the free market. Case in point are the US Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The USPS is in deep "doo doo". They are losing a lot of money, causing them to close hundreds of branches to compensate (see Death of USPS). UPS (2012 earning report) and FedEx (2012 earning report) are doing much better. I don't have to say much about the DMV. I don't have great experience when I visit the DMV; all I know is when I go there, I have to wait in very long lines.
I predict that when this law goes into full effect in 2014, healthcare will be very affordable for all, but the healthcare services will suck. Service, when you get to it, will be fast, but the wait to get it will be very long.
Why? Because when things become mandated, pricing and everything will be controlled (not by market forces, but by government), and as I see it, there will be very minimal incentive to be the best medical service provider out there. They just need to be compliant, and they will be able to charge what the government dictates. This means there will be no more market competition, and if healthcare providers are to make some profit in this business, they will need to see more people in shorter periods of times.
This translates to longer waiting times! And this is what's it's like in socialist countries. Health services is free for everyone, but the wait is a killer; some wait months to get their MRI done; and others die because they weren't seen early enough to get their diagnoses and treatment in time.
I certainly don't want our medical system to become that way, but unfortunately we are already moving in that direction.
If You Hate Waiting...
With things the way they are, and if my prediction is correct, you'll want to avoid getting sick. If you don't want to get sick, you need to stay healthy. To stay healthy you need to do a couple of things:
- Eat right
Keep in mind also some people get sick from people they come in contact with or things they touch at the hospital. With longer waits, your exposure and risk of getting sick will be even higher.
So by staying healthy and fit, you can completely avoid the risk of catching something at the hospital.