By Ray Dunaway

Some Monday morning headlines, since we were all buried in ham slices over the weekend, with the exception of those who observe Passover, in which case “porkage” is not an issue.

Though the President has asserted repeatedly since April 1st that “the debate is over” when it comes to Obamacare, there seem to be some issues that remain to be addressed, which I hope the incredibly competent Kathleen Sebelius will tidy up before she heads back to Kansas.

Actually, I doubt she’ll head back to the Sunflower State. It’s more likely that she get a job with some K-Street lobbying firm where she can help clients and others figure out what’s in the law, now that we’ve passed it.

Here is a sample of the recent headlines:

“Georgia Exchange Applications Hit 220, 000” which is good. However the article in Georgia Health News reports that only half have yet to pay their premiums. Why should they? It’s free!

From Channel 5, a fine CBS station serving the Bay Area comes this: “Some Covered California Patients Say They Can’t See A Doctor”. All carded up, with no place to go, it would seem.

From the rightwing New York Times comes this tidbit: “Healthcare Spending’s Recent Surge Stirs Unease”. So much for bending the cost curve down. Of course when new enrollees are generally older and sicker, it’s going to raise costs.

There are some good things about the ACA. It does cover those who are uninsured, or at least, is supposed to. I believe most of us agree with that- I know I do. However, according to recent reports from the GAO and the CBO, there will be little change in the number of insured in the next 10 years.

Other reports from other neutral observers contradict the claims that Obamacare will hold down costs. In fact, most studies believe that cost increased have been underestimated.

An interesting historical perspective. When Medicare passed in the mid-60’s opponents (including Bob Dole) claimed that the cost estimates were greatly optimistic. And in fact, they were right. Medicare currently spends a bit below 550 Billion Dollars a year, which is around 20 times the estimate.

Maybe it’s time for a do-over.

Phillip Howard will be a guest on the show later this week. His latest book “The Rule Of Nobody” suggests that many regulations now on the books need just that. And by the way, Phillip is not some government-hating anarchist. He likes government just fine. He just things it’s time to get a lot of the rules and regulations accumulated out of the house, and into a dumpster in the driveway.

Sorry, but that’s hardly a radical concept.


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