The President and Democrats have spent the last three and a half years selling ‘Obamacare,’ the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, with a carefully planned campaign of laudatory speeches, comments, and editorials.
On June 15, 2009, President Obama made this promise to all Americans: “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will keep this promise: if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” The President and his allies have repeated such statements many times since.
Such non-ambiguous rhetoric was used to shape the public’s understanding of Obamacare. Now, we are reaching mandatory enforcement timelines. Millions of Americans are learning that they will lose their physicians, their hospitals, and their health care plans. This calamity has resulted in a furor that has finally registered with the media. It is clear that the promises of the president and many Democrats were simply untrue.
The president finally responded by stating: “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me”. Unfortunately, this does not seem much of an apology.
Further revelations show that the promises of reduced insurance costs, no new taxes, simple comparison-shopping and enrollment processes, reduction of the national debt and others were also untrue.
The endless campaign to sell Obamacare was based upon on the oldest and most successful technique of the flim-flam man. That is: the best way to sell a worthless product is to convince people that is something other than what it is. Then make the sale long before the buyer can learn the truth.
The reality check that Americans are now facing is that Obamacare is not at all what was promised, and never was. The silver lining to this charade is that the false promises did accurately reflect the reforms that Americans really want. Any replacement for Obamacare must address three basic necessities – choice, control, and cost: the 3 C’s.
Healthcare involves intensely personal interactions. The cornerstone is the patient-physician relationship, one based upon mutual trust. We must demand the right to choose the physicians, practitioners, and hospitals to whom we entrust our care.
Choice of the health care insurance plan is important. For some, a Health Savings Account coupled with a catastrophic insurance plan is an excellent solution, whereas PPOs, or HMOs may be best for others.
The disingenuous way by which Obamacare has been sold has been a wakeup call about the importance of trust when our health care is involved. Do we really want to entrust our health and lives to remote unknown bureaucrats who cannot be trusted even to be truthful? An essential ingredient of leadership is integrity.
Control of important medical decisions is also an imperative. Physicians for at least the last 50 years have led a transition from “consent” to “informed consent,” consent after adequate disclosure, for medical treatment decisions. Doctors make certain that patients are carefully instructed about their disease, the various treatments that are available, and the risks and probabilities of cure. The physician usually recommends a specific treatment and the reasons for that recommendation. However, the patient retains control over the final treatment decision.