The Distraction

by Dave Schuler on April 2, 2014

The editors of the Wall Street Journal take the opportunity provided by the original end of the open enrollment period of the PPACA to critique the week-old proposal for amending the PPACA proposed by the “ObamaCare 12″, the twelve Democratic senators who are up for re-election this year, all of whom voted in favor of the PPACA. I posted on the subject at the time. As you might expect, the WSJ editors aren’t impressed:

In an op-ed for Politico, Ms. Landrieu and Senate co-authors wrote, “let’s stop trying to score political points by turning up the rhetoric and instead roll up our sleeves and get to work.” But the fix-it ploy is all about political points, a way for these Democrats to distance themselves from ObamaCare while still embracing it. The only way their constituents can truly mend the problems their Senators voted to create is by defeating them in November.

Why are the twelve Democratic senators up for re-election nervous and what impact is the law likely to have on the November elections? I think it’s good to keep in mind that the PPACA polls differently in the states in which those senators are running for re-election than it does in the country at large. According to the RealClearPolitics index of polls nationally the law has an unfavorable approval rating of 40/52. In Louisiana 50% favor outright repeal; only 14% support expansion. In West Virginia 51% support repeal while 13% favor expansion. In Colorado 51% favor repeal while 30% favor expansion.

My own view is best summed up by Macbeth:

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly…

and Uwe Reinhardt’s characterization of the PPACA as an ugly patch on an ugly system that is largely a re-affirmation of that system.

The truly pressing need in healthcare reform is not insurance reform but cost control and I see the continuing bickering over the PPACA as a distraction from the more pressing need to the advantage of insurance companies and healthcare profiteers.

{ 19 trackbacks }

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

PD Shaw April 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

People may not be aware that Landrieu’s probable opponent is a sitting Congressman, who is a practicing Doctor and was a lead opponent of passing the ACA. I’m not sure this is the battlefield where she wants to live and die, but I’m not sure how she escapes it.

(Really at this point, I think control of the Senate comes down to whom the Republicans nominate, particularly in Alaska and North Carolina. No party nominations in Louisiana, so Landrieu doesn’t have that chance.)

Jimbino April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’m a non-believer in insurance of any kind, though I’m not Amish or Mennonite. I get my health care like they do: from docs who don’t accept insurance or Medicare, docs who offer deep discounts to avoid the costs of HIPAA record-keeping, VISA charges and other non-essential costs of delivering medical care [discount = approx 40%], or docs located in places like Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil.

I just had cataract surgery in Rio de Janeiro for half the USSA costs. In Monterrey, MX, it would cost 1/3 what’s charged in Austin, TX. In India or Thailand, much less.

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