(…Obamacare will get you the good, with the bad, and the ugly)

As more details about the “Affordable” Care Act emerge, it’s becoming obvious that it was conceived and designed to mainly benefit the medical insurance industry rather than the tax-paying public at large. Not surprising, since the odds are the draft of it was most probably produced by the industry’s lobbyists, rather than anyone in Congress (many of which admitting they really hadn’t read much, if any of it).

Leaving aside the fiasco of the government’s premature launch of its website (which is still a mess), despite clear warnings from a hired consulting firm to assess its readiness for that, and because it wasn’t, not to do so, they chose to disregard these, allowing political motives to over ride common sense. Worse yet, millions of Americans who had accepted the President’s assurances they could keep their plans, as gospel, have now found themselves out in the proverbial uninsured cold, forced to abandon their previously acceptable and affordable plans…for newer and more expensive ones instead, which smells of a classic bait-and-switch maneuver to sell an ill-conceived and inequitable concept to subsidize the cost of coverage for some…from the pockets of others.

While there are some good and much needed reforming provisions in the 2000 odd pages of this legislative scheme, the rationale for it seems to have been…for a few dollars more… Obamacare will get you the good, with the bad, and the ugly. None of that, of course reflects well on everyone involved with it. Not the President, not the Congress, and certainly neither of our two political parties, members of which have shown they have been more concerned with maintaining their respective political interests, rather than doing what might have been good for the taxpayers as a whole.

So, what, if anything, can be done to salvage something from this mess? Since “repeal” of this ill-conceived legislation is not a practical option, perhaps it’s time for us tax-payers to demand in no uncertain terms an immediate bi-partisan effort to modify or adjust this existing law, or else, present another alternative to supersede it entirely, with more equitable provisions, such as:

1.    For the medical insurance industry:

a) Retain acceptance of pre-existing conditions provision

b) Allow it to form Regional risk pools, based on the tried and true Lloyds of London model.

c) Allow it to offer a wide range of coverage plans, to fit individual needs and budgets throughout the country, regardless of State of residence.

d) Limit annual premium increases to the CPI Index.

2.    For Employers:

a) Allow these to subsidize in part or entirely, employee purchased plans, as a benefit, and deductible as a standard business expense.

b) Allow subsidy to be paid directly to employee, or, through a Medical Savings Account program that they may have established for employees.

3.    For Employees:

a) Allowed to choose whatever plan best fits personal needs and budget, from  competitive open marketplace.                                                                                         

b) Employer subsidies not taxable as income.                                                                                  

c) Retain access to employer provided Medical Savings Account if laid off, or otherwise unemployed, until either depleted, or individual becomes employed by another employer. In such case, any remaining funds in the account to revert to the previous employer.

Something along these lines would be more equitable for everyone, providing greater flexibility of plan coverage, and costs, all based upon individual needs, not on some one-size-fits-all template.

The question is: are there really any members of Congress ready, able, and willing, to make such an alternative proposal?