Staying focused on the Bigger Issues being skipped by Presidential candidates.
Obamacare was never about providing more coverage or lowering the cost of said coverage. Obamacare was constructed in 2009/2010 for one reason and one reason only, to shift the cost of healthcare away from the private sector and into the hands of government.
The cost of union healthcare coverage was rising at an unsustainable rate. Union contracts were historically negotiated with exceptionally generous terms for Health Care Insurance plans and healthcare benefits as a whole.
In the short-term these contracts were great, however in the longer term these contracts were unsustainable.
Enter SEIU President Andy Stern, the 2009/2010 most frequent visitor to the White House. Stern, as head of the Service Employees International Union, was in a desperate situation – the pension and retirement benefits of his unionized workers was beyond the scope of receipts to keep pace.
As a direct consequence in 2007/2008 the removal of Healthcare coverage liability was a top priority for the financial viability of the SEIU and AFL-CIO (Richard Trumka). To get the liability removed it was imperative the Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, reached the White House. Hence, the quid-pro-quo.
Andy Stern and Richard Trumka using their union members as affiliates and foot soldiers for the organizational goals of Obama For America (OFA). Once they achieved success, the repayment for their efforts would be a healthcare bill, Obamacare, regardless of consequences. Obamacare was the primary objective in the first two years. They succeeded.
On the opposite side of the aisle, stood Republicans. They too had skin in the healthcare game and they too had financial overlords who wanted the costs of healthcare coverage removed from private corporations.
Led by Tom Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the flip side of the business coin also stood to benefit from seeing the cost of health insurance coverage removed from the cost of goods sold, or services rendered.
As a direct consequence almost all opposition to Obamacare boiled down to the details, not the larger question of takeover (fundamental change) itself. The stock valuations of the largest corporations stood to gain from the cost of health insurance being removed, or at least diminished, from the cost of their products and services.
The U.S. was the only large Western nation whose overall healthcare was a direct result of funding almost entirely from within the private sector. In all other industrialized nations the delivery of healthcare flows from the government, provided via taxation upon the citizenry.
If the cost of healthcare could be removed from the cost of goods and services then profits would necessarily increase. The fees, or funding mechanism, to make this fundamental shift in cost inherently became the “details” within the larger objective.
Democrats supporting Obamacare to rid themselves of burdensome union pension benefit costs. Republicans supporting Obamacare to rid corporations of burdensome benefit costs which were eating away at their bottom line.
What followed in 2009 and 2010 was the argument over “how” and “how much”, you know, those details we were told needed to be passed in order to see what was in them. No-one, except the impacted citizenry, ever argued the case “why”.
The “why” was always sold as to increase coverage for the 32 million “uninsured”; or to “lower the cost of providing coverage” overall. The “why” was always the point of obfuscation inherent in the accompanying worry.
[You’ll note we’re six years down the road and the number of “uninsured” is still the same, and costs continuing to increase.]
“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”. “If you like your Doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Both statements to keep from digging down into the why. However, the larger goal was always about shifting the cost from inside the nation’s private economic activity into a consequential place outside the production value equation.
In other words, “directly into your pocket”.
When you begin to remind yourself why this took place, you begin to look at the presidential candidate’s solutions a little differently.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both just want to finish off the program, to a complete single payer government funded system. The GOP side arguing -against the tide- to reinsert Healthcare back into the private economy. However, the financial backers for the various GOP candidates all have a vested interest in seeing the overall structure of healthcare kept off the financial profit and loss statements of the entities they represent.
We are too far down the path created by Obamacare, ie. “the exchanges“, to ever see employer provided health coverage again in all but the smallest of privately owned companies.
The only argument that remains viable within almost all of the conversation is who controls the actual delivery of the healthcare; private providers or fully immersed government entities,….