Obama and the architects of health-care reform are long on theory, but short on the reality of medicine.
But there is a reality, whether or not the theorists like to consider it. The facts are the facts, and in this case hard to deny. Even some of the most verbal proponents of Obamacare – are being “bitten in the a–” so to speak by the real world results of their ridiculous attempt at micromanagement of a complex field that constitutes 14 percent of the nation’s economy.
Max Baucus, Democrat from Montana called implementation of Obamacare a “train wreck.” Senators Franken and Lobuchar from Minnesota are finding out that Obamacare’s tax on medical manufacturing is wreaking havoc with their state’s huge medical manufacturing industry. They have, at least on this minor point in the law, moved to the opposition.
Congressional staffers themselves are now subjected to the laws they helped write –and they are not happy to live under the rules! As the joke goes, a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.
So let us review the real effects of Obamacare to date:
1. Roseland Community Hospital, a Chicago south-side hospital that cares for many of the area’s indigent is laying off 68 employees including clerks, lab staff, ER nurses and managers. Executives and others are taking a pay cut. This is a direct result of decreased reimbursements under Medicare as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, otherwise known as Obamacare.
2. In a June CNBC survey, 41 percent of small businesses reported having frozen hiring due to the new health-care law. 1 out of 5 said specifically the freeze was due to Obamacare. Thirty-eight percent of small businesses said they pulled back on their plans to expand, specifically citing Obamacare.
3. Ministry Health Care is planning a layoff of 225 to 250 full-time jobs due to the reducing reimbursement.
4. Allegany Co. Pennsylvania Community College cut hours for 400 adjunct faculty and other employers so it did not have to pay $6 million in Obamacare-related fees.
5. Medina, Ohio, cut hours of its city employees, citing the fact that they had the money to pay salaries, but not the budget to pay for the new health care required, which would have added $1 million to their cost.
6. Dearborn, Mich., is cutting more than 700 part-time and seasonal workers down to 28 hours a week. According to the Mayor, John O’Reilly, “If we had to provide health care and other benefits to all our employees, the burden on the city would be tremendous.”
7. Temporary staffing jobs hit a record 2.68 million in May as employers look to hire more part-time employees and therefore avoid the ramifications of Obamacare. The temp employment industry in the last four months has added 98,000 jobs, making it the No. 2 growth industry.
8. Medicare cuts in reimbursements to hospitals have resulted in cutting physician staffing. In the Henry Ford Medical Group, 20-25 physicians will be taking early retirement as 3-4 percent is cut from the physician budget. This makes evening and weekend call difficult to cover.
9. A Birmingham, Mich., commissioner, Gordon Rinschler summed it up, “We simply cannot afford the ‘affordable care act.'”
These are just a few of the myriad announcements of job layoffs and the cutting of hours so more people are part-time employees. This is the first response to Obamacare –the real effects will not become fully manifest until 2014. At that time when all the fat has been cut, when all the fines are coming due, when doctors have retired in droves, when the size of government has further expanded and the rest of the costs kick in, there will be nowhere to run. Businesses then will start closing their doors.
There comes a time to examine theory in the cold hard light of reality. The ideal of “free health care” is a false ideal. There is no free lunch and there is no free health care. And when the government offers you something for “free,” grab your wallets because you are about to be fleeced, as businesses, doctors, hospitals and local governments are finding out.