A critical look at Obamacare. And at the good times for medical insurers


Well wouldn’t you know it: Senator John McCain, fresh from his treatment for a cancerous brain tumour, voted against the ‘skinny repeal’ of Obamacare in the Senate, helping to tilt the vote and delivering a blow to President Donald Trump’s hopes to start the process rolling. Not for nothing that Mr McCain is often called the first ever Democrat to be elected as a Republican Senator and he proved he fully deserves that title once again.

Not that the battle over Obamacare is over. It took Barack Obama nearly two years to push through his vision of healthcare into law and President Trump is only six months into his effort to repeal it, so everything is still up for grabs.

Yes, healthcare has always been an issue that raised a lot of strong feelings, as it’s about a basic human need of getting qualified help and assistance when illness strikes. Even though mainstream medicine has been drifting backwards for the past 100 years, learning to suppress the symptoms for extended periods of time but failing to heal. Which seems like a different issue altogether, but in reality it is the main reason why healthcare around the world and in America as well is under such strain.

Obamacare is an example of the cunning politics of virtue that takes an issue close to the heart of millions, promises to sort it out in the interests of the most vulnerable but doesn’t, ending up benefiting the few who make a fortune out of it. That is why Obamacare is proving so difficult to dislodge, as so much money is being made out of it by the medical insurers who have enough muscle to get plenty of members of US Congress and media people on their side.

The medical insurance companies were actually the ones that had benefited the most from Obamacare. Because if you think about it, the whole point of it was to force around 50 million Americans, who had no medical insurance, to take out a policy or get fined for refusing to do it. The idea was that they would be covered and pay for themselves or, if they were too poor, the government would split the bill or even pay for the whole lot. Which meant that all those insurance giants suddenly found themselves blessed with more profits, especially as they were very quick to push up the premiums on the new policies upwards. And if you consider that in many US states there is only one big medical insurer, that meant the good times came a knocking and a banging on their doors.

On the face of it Obamacare was pushed through as a good thing, to get those people on the medical insurance roll-call, even with pre-existing health problems, but when it came to implementation it was all about squeezing the poor and the taxpayers to let insurance company get even richer. Because that is how politics works. Someone somewhere benefits from the decisions the government makes and it’s not the little people.

What has transpired very quickly was that Obamacare had been badly thought through and was costing the people and Big Brother way too much, lacking choice and flexibility. What sounded great on papers did not work out in practice. But getting rid of it is proving very difficult.