Obamacare love misplaced
I had to read the long letter from Mr. Alaimo a couple of times to really grasp his message. There is one constant thread having to do with this country’s Judeo-Christian roots, and it seems that this is the basis for Mr. Alaimo’s “love” for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Please allow me to respond with a few high-level observations.
1. Mr. Alaimo spoke to his desire to provide healthcare plans to his employees. While this is commendable, we must understand the original reasons for companies providing such plans.
In earlier days, the trained labor force available for work lagged the work to be done. As such, large companies would offer perks above salary to sweeten their compensation packages.
Once labor unions recognized that such deals were being provided for professionals, they negotiated like (or even better) plans for their membership. Due to the large numbers of large corporations and large unions, employers providing health insurance became the norm.
As a side item, these large corporations and unions invested heavily in insurance companies, further solidifying the current model.
None of these actions or results was altruistic or based upon religious tenets; rather they were business decisions.
While it is laudable that Mr. Alaimo wants to provide insurance coverage for his employees, at the end of the day he made the correct business decision and at the end of the day, it’s not his responsibility to provide such insurance for these people.
One might suggest that he might have provided an annual stipend to his folks with the stated expectation that they would use those funds to help offset the cost of insurance.
Of course, it is likely that some employees would not use the funds for that purpose and as free citizens that would be their decision; the ACA has now removed such freedom from us all.
2. Among the Judeo-Christian values stated by Mr. A is, “Human life is a gift of God.” Yet, we know that the ACA requires all people to buy a policy that covers and guarantees abortion services.
While you or Mr. A or any of his employees may never use such services as a matter of beliefs, the fact remains that the same pooling nature of large insurance groups requires that you and I and Mr. A are all subsidizing abortions, like it or not.
While most plans already cover such services, a person of strong beliefs could buy a policy with a group that would not cover such procedures or choose to buy no insurance.
Again, the ACA has eliminated that personal freedom. So, does universal health insurance trump the sanctity of life?
3. Mr. A raised the weakness of the former insurance system of liability claims and the cost associated with them causing higher premiums for all.
ACA purposely did nothing related to tort reform. Therefore, no cost savings can be realized.
4. The argument used by many, including Mr. A that we should all be willing to share the cost of providing healthcare for all as a religious matter or social contract misses the point of a free nation.
As a free American, all of us have always had the ability to either personally or as a like-minded group pay for health insurance for whomever we choose. Churches provide food, shelter, and other basic needs for many people. Why not health insurance? Oh, that’s right, the government already provided such a safety net.
Now in states like Georgia whose rules for Medicaid are more stringent, churches or other organizations could provide support to those not covered by Medicaid.
Church congregations could voluntarily provide insurance premium support to their fold if that was a real concern. I could buy for my brother, you could buy for your sister if we were able.
Bottom line is that if the money is available in a population to be forcibly extracted from that population through higher costs of a mandated product (health insurance) or through increased taxes, or in the case of ACA both, then that money was always there to be voluntarily given as an act of Judeo-Christian charity.
Even language used by Mr A throughout his letter recognizes the weaknesses of the current plan, so I would question a love affair. This sounds more like a spited lover on the rebound willing to “fall in love” with someone who offers a positive message, caring voice, and missed attention. It sounds more like infatuation to me.
He sees the weaknesses and even describes them but chooses to accept the bad habits of his new love while ignoring the significant character flaws simply because of the attention given.
We all deserve better.
Peachtree City, Ga.