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Comrade Kaprugina And The Dialectics Of Obamacare

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While the state media (CNN, MSNBC, WAPO, NYT, NBC, ABC, CBS et al) could not ignore the disastrous glitches of the October 1 debut of Obamacare, they are not exactly falling over themselves to explain the fundamental dynamics of the Affordable Care Act. So we at TMR, schooled in the intricacies of socialism and inspired by the glorious Comrade Kaprugina, whose cameo appearance in Doctor Zhivago was one of the film’s unforgettable moments, will step into the breach. Here is what you need to keep in mind about the central tendencies of the Affordable Care Act.

    Standing In Line- Socialism Arrives

It’s a delicious irony. From the exchanges’ git-go on October 1 (let’s call it the October Revolution), citizens got to experience one of the omnipresent features of life under socialism-standing in line as the shortages materialize. The process has been modernized, so you get to sit down at work or at home. But you still wait and wait and wait.

    Data Communes and Free Love- The Private Life Is Dead

During the holidays the media focused like a laser on the data security breach at Target. But the ACA technical infrastructure is like an enormous Swiss cheese in terms of data security holes, and the data at risk is infinitely more personal than the debit/credit card numbers of the Target incident. And, of course, the ACA is all for free, or at least subsidized love, with its abortion and birth control mandates. Sandra Fluke must be in seventh heaven.

    Enrolled But Not Covered

The authors of the ACA understood that many ordinary citizens can not afford the more expensive insurance policies that comply with the ACA’s mandates, so they created an elaborate subsidy program. Trouble is, they did not create a reliable mechanism to pay the insurers. So one can be enrolled, but not covered until the policy activates upon payment. Take two aspirin and call the White House in the morning.

    Covered But Not Treated

One of the side effects of the ACA is that it upends the existing system of preferred providers and reduces choice in the selection of physicians, especially out of state or even outside of a patient’s home town. And even providers in your home town are at risk. I received a notice from my local hospital that they might drop out of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield network because of a reimbursement dispute as providers and insurers try to figure out who pays whom what in the face of all the ACA mandates. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. NOT.

    Treated, But Not Solvent

Let’s suppose an enterprising citizen penetrates the exchange barrier, gets a compliant policy, is lucky enough to have the government pay the subsidy to activate the policy, and is also lucky enough to find out that his doctor is still in his provider’s network. Problem solved, right? Not so fast. For many Americans, the unsubsidized portion of the premiums and the high deductibles of ACA-compliant policy will mean higher out-of-pocket medical expenses than ever before. Many family budgets will be stretched to the breaking point when they actually have to see a physician. To add insult to injury, Congress revised the threshold to deduct medical expenses on one’s taxes, raising it from 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income in 2013 to 10%.

What a mess! One suspects that Comrade Kaprugina, in whatever part of the hereafter she resides in after shaking this mortal coil, is smiling. Old socialists never die. They just plague us from the grave.

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