Magazine article USA TODAY

GOP Now Responsible for Fate of ObamaCare

Magazine article USA TODAY

GOP Now Responsible for Fate of ObamaCare

Article excerpt

The time for Republican self congratulation concerning the midterm elections is over, and the work needs to begin, insists Jane M. Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, Tucson, Ariz., and author of Your Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism About National Health Care. "It appears that the majority of the voting population recognizes that our country is in dire condition. Time is running out to fix it. Are Republicans going to work for our country, or just shift money around to different special interests?"

It is not reassuring, she states, that some Republican Party strategists think they took control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House because they purged controversial candidates (read, Tea Party) who might make a campaign gaffe--and who might upset the ruling elite's agenda if they got elected, or that Democrats seem confident that Republicans will "work together" with them to continue the Progressive agenda--or else Pres. Barack Obama will do it all by himself.

Republicans no longer can blame soon-to-be-former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.Nev.) for their failure to repeal or defund ObamaCare, Orient warns. 'They cannot just take symbolic votes and complain (not too loudly) when bills get bottled up in the Senate. It is on them now."

ObamaCare is deeply unpopular. Millions already have been hurt by it, and the real pain will begin now that the election is over," Orient points out. Countless insurance cancellations, IRS penalties, and sticker shock for renewal premiums are about to hit--and that is just the financial pain. "Loss of access to physicians and hospitals, and the diversion of physicians' attention to rule compliance instead of patient needs are harder to measure. It also is more difficult to blame the government instead of doctors."

Not all of these problems are from ObamaCare alone, explains Orient, but can be traced to previous laws such as the HITECH Act and other "incentives" for physicians to buy expensive, error-ridden computer systems and follow protocols--or else be punished.

Every mandate, and every dollar taken from taxpayers, is income to somebody: managed-care cartels, information technology vendors, government bureaucracies, etc. "With every day that passes," Orient cautions, "ObamaCare becomes more deeply rooted, like kudzu, and harder to extirpate."

Then there is the reckless disregard for the law that has characterized implementation: selective waivers, politically motivated delays, and blatantly rewriting the law to provide taxpayer subsidies explicitly forbidden in Exchanges not created by states, the latter a situation that is being looked at by the Supreme Court. …

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