The recent news over the 500% price increase of the EpiPen and Aetna “extorting” the US government through threatening and successfully leaving 11 out of 15 exchanges because the DOJ rejected a $1 billion merger with Humana, sheds new light on how little Obamacare really did.
But Obamacare did what it set out to do: Get 30 million uninsured Americans insured, but leave control up to private industry, which largely operates as a monopoly.
It was a smart move by the Obama administration and moderate, establishment Democrats, which at the time owned a Democratic-majority House and Senate (and of course, the presidency), to push forward a new health care plan that was written by the private industry and only benefited the private industry.
It made Obama and his pals look like political geniuses and didn’t upset the business interests that helped Obama get elected through fundraising. When the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (try not to laugh at the bill’s name … ) passed, Obama and experts deemed it historical health care legislation. I mean, Obama got an often divided Congress to work together and insured 30 million additional Americans. The Obama legacy will live on, right? Even if Americans who still have to choose between rent and medical expenses don’t.
He convinced Americans and those on the left of victory (even though his chief of staff at the time thought liberal groups pressuring their own party members to vote in favor of the health care bill were “fucking retarded”) despite not passing a public option, which would have been a logical step toward universal and/or affordable healthcare.
At the time Obamacare passed, there were a host of issues that were blatantly obvious to the average person. For one, there was no protection against premium hikes that are more common than a Kardashian preying on black men.
Also, there was no incentive to keep health care providers in an exchange. This proves that one, corporate industries run the way our government operates. With them puling out of more and more exchanges, the ACA will fall apart. Also, we cannot force corporations to look out for the interest of citizens over money. If Obamacare worked at first, that was because corporations chose to play the game. But once they get mad enough, they’ll stop playing and we’re back to giving into their demands. I mean look, it’s 2016 and banks are still shy about raising interest rates, meaning nobody is injecting money into the economy. We’re out of the recession, but they still choose to hoard.
And ultimately, there was no government option other than the private health care providers that more often than not had full control of their economic territory. As a for-profit company, is there anything better than no competition?
Fast forward six years after the passage of the controversial health care bill and the healthcare industry is still run by Big Pharma. Premiums continue to rise, customers even with preexisting conditions are getting dropped and the prices of drugs are still skyrocketing despite top-level executives receiving huge bonuses.