Thursday, March 18, 2010

ObamaCare Inherited This Mess

An Opinion Column by Frank Finger

Now that it seems obvious that ObamaCare is just a few cursory pen strokes away from becoming law, it's time to talk honestly about the terrible state of our Healthcare System.

We have a shortage of doctors. Everyone knows there's a shortage of doctors. This has been going on for years, long before any doctor in the marginal wilderness said he was going to retire because of ObamaCare. The sorry state of our loan industry and the Republican decimation of our educational system has gotten us to this point, not Obama or ObamaCare.

Insurance premiums are skyrocketing. This is no secret. This has nothing to do with dumping 47 million people into the system and forcing selfish insurance companies to stop calculating real world risks against real world costs. And even if it did have something to do with all of that, why would it be the fault of ObamaCare?

And all this talk about hospitals running out of room under ObamaCare is silly. Hospitals have always had a shortage of space. Have you ever seen an empty hospital? Sorry, Sarah Palin, that only happens in George Romero movies. All the hospitals I have ever been to were crowded, with one or two people in nearly every room and so many doctors and nurses walking around, you could sometimes barely move.

And anyway, why only two patients per hospital room? Why not four or five? Can't we all just get along? And now with fewer doctors and nurses, the hallways of hospitals will be far easier to navigate.

It's lazy to blame the President for being the one brave enough to take on Big Hospital and fix the situation. The devastating collapse of our healthcare system has been a long time coming. It was already cut. Don't be mad at Obama for ripping the band-aid off and exposing the slow, festering wound for everyone to experience firsthand for as long as it takes to scar over, even if that happens to be forever.

As we've seen for over a year now, it's so easy to just point the finger at the President in some bad situation and say that he's the one that got us here. Just look at the name, "ObamaCare". Why ObamaCare? Why not "BushCare"? After all, as everybody knows, George Bush is the one that really got us into this mess with the failed policies of the last eight years.

But the tea partiers want you to forget that. So they call it "ObamaCare". Then everything that happens to the system after the bill becomes law suddenly becomes his fault. Even though he had nothing to do with what's wrong, and everything to do with what's right.

You will hear people, in the coming years, as the system inevitably gets worse (before it gets better), that this is the fault of the Democrats for passing a completely one-sided bill. But it's not the Democrats that are responsible for what they've done. It's the Republicans that are responsible for what they have not done. That's why this entire thing is really the fault of the Republicans.

Inevitably, you will hear complaints about "taxes" going up. Well, we were already all paying "taxes" to the selfish insurance companies in the form of skyrocketing premiums. I don't remember hearing anybody complaining about that. So now the "taxes" are going where they are supposed to go: to the government. You know, the government. The people that build the roads and do lots of other things that are just like building the roads?

The time for talk is over and it's time for us all to roll our sleeves up and get a little dirty. The people that were "happy" with the old system had their chance to stay healthy and go to the doctor whenever they wanted and receive fast treatment. But their time is over, and it's time now for all the people that were unhappy with it to get their chance in a somewhat less vibrant system that we can at least all share together. This is life in the new, post-unfair era.

In conclusion, if more of us have to get sick now to keep more of us healthy in the future, then so be it. This is the harsh reality of the third century of a very young country that still has a lot of growing up to do.

Frank Finger is a six-time Pulitzer winning conservative columnist who writes for the Mega Independent. His new book, "The Conservatives: Why Did They Do This To Us?" will be in stores on April 20th.
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