Just six weeks into the rollout of ObamaCare, the speculation is over. Democrat Senator Max Baucus has been proven remarkably prescient when months ago he opined that it would be a "train wreck." In fact, he understated the reality we now know to be true.
A totally dysfunctional website, anemic sign up numbers, privacy violations, millions of cancelations of existing plans, skyrocketing premiums and deductibles, a financial model already shattered, and the President lying about how he really wasn't lying all those other times. Optimism and high expectations are shattered.
ObamaCare will collapse. That already seems obvious. As bad as the first six weeks have been, the worst is still to come. Even Democrats who voted for it are crying "fix it" and looking for someone to blame other than themselves.
Many more opportunities to criticize the President's legacy legislation will present themselves. But, with the collapse a virtual certainty, the question of "What's next?" should take center stage.
A loyal reader of this space asked me recently, "You guys have lots of criticism of the President and ObamaCare, but where are your solutions?" A fair question.
Actually, I have offered my ideas in considerable detail. In January, 2009 I published my first book, A Return to Values: A Conservative Looks at His Party. In the book I proposed an "Agenda for America" for the GOP to adopt to regain public credibility after a couple of bruising election cycles. Party benefits aside, it was my attempt to offer solutions for the macro-challenges facing the country. "Transition to Patient-Centered Health Care" was the subject of Chapter 9.
That chapter in its entirety is found below. And if an author might be allowed a little personal privilege, after what America has endured over the last five years, I think it may be more relevant today as serious food for thought than it was when first published – which just happened to be the same month Barack Obama was first inaugurated.
The chapter was not then intended to be all inclusive, nor is it for today. It is simply my attempt to provide a solid framework for a beginning. The opinions and ideas you'll find in the essay flow naturally from the Principle of Freedom espoused in the following concluding paragraph from the chapter. I hope you will read it, and that it might cause you to think about solutions, too. Because after the collapse, somebody is going to have to have a better plan.
"As parents have for too long been closed out of their children's classrooms, likewise patients have been shut out of their own healthcare decisions. The solutions to solving the challenges we face can be summed up in one word – Freedom. And patients don't become more free when government gets bigger and more in control of their lives. Republicans need to say it, explain it, and deliver on the promise."