Friday, June 29, 2012

It's been quite a week

I'm still trying to process everything while in the midst of completing some other projects. Obamacare apparently did not get knocked down by the Supreme Court. Although the ACA was never my ideal means of attaining the goal of universal healthcare (something that the rest of the civilized world takes as a given), it struck me as better than nothing. The status quo prior to 2010 would, if I recall correctly, have led eventually (i.e., sometime this decade) to the big healthcare conglomerates (insurance companies, hospitals, pharma, etc.) demanding a bailout. Basically there was a positive feedback loop that was in place that was unsustainable. Taking insurance for a moment, the companies would raise rates, then lose some of their customers. This would lead them to raise rates again, and lose even more customers. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  In my more normally cynical moments, I referred to the ACA as a "bailout with benefits." Basically, we're giving these industries a bunch of new customers, and getting something in return in the way of some significant guarantees of access to those services. Given the realities in DC, this was probably the best we were going to get. I'm guardedly more optimistic that the stage has now been set for a more palatable set of reforms down the road than I have ever been, and considerably more optimistic than I would have been had the ACA been struck down this week. Had it been struck down, I am reasonably certain that no leader in their right mind would touch health care reform for another couple decades. We as taxpayers would have still ended up bailing out the health care corporations, and even more millions of human beings would have suffered needlessly. For now, I breathe a sigh of relief. It's a start.

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