Sunday, June 28, 2020

Obamacare Isn't Saving Us from the Chicom Virus, and Ending It Won't Make Us Less Safe From It

The Democrat-Gazette ran yet another highly biased wire report yesterday on the so-called "Affordable Care Act". It started by saying...
The Trump Administration touched off another politically charged battle over the future of the Affordable Care Act with its latest maneuver to dismantle the law during a pandemic — a move that Democrats lambasted and few Republicans defended.
It went on and on quoting people about how terrible it was that anyone was even considering rolling back any aspect of Obamacare while this highly infectious disease was ravaging the country. It was almost strident in sending the message that we now need this nationalized healthcare plan more than ever.

They are the only state-wide newspaper and have been a primary source of information for Arkansas voters for many decades. Politicians are afraid to cross them. Thus, they must bear significant responsibility for the poor economic conditions and ongoing political corruption and dysfunction in our state. They owe us reparations, though the blame also falls on those of us who are so shallow and inept as to continue to give them credibility just because they are big and loud.

I didn't vote for Donald Trump and I have no plans to in November either. Still, the story is extremely poorly reasoned and misleading. Obamacare is the law of the land. Our healthcare infrastructure is now built around it. If America's response to the pandemic has been inadequate it must be at least in part because Obamacare isn't good at dealing with a crisis of this kind and magnitude. It is a clunky, centralized, inefficient and unwieldly administrative nightmare that was cobbled together by giving a vast array of interest groups a piece of the taxpayer pie. It wasn't even built to be a flexible and rapid response to an infectious disease, and it is consuming a vast amount of resources which could otherwise be spent on an effective response. 

In fact, a strong argument can be made that the more committed a state is to Obamacare, the weaker its response has been to the crisis. Nineteen states have not enacted a critical piece of the Obamacare pie. They haven't expanded Medicaid to every healthy adult below the federal poverty line. So there health-care infrastructure isn't as centralized and ordered around Obamacare as it is in the other thirty-one states.

Now, let's look at the death-rates for the Chi-com virus by state....
I'd like to thank Alan Clark for his recent statistics on COVID-19......
Deaths per million from COVID-19
Worst nation in the world Belgium 851 
New Jersey 1670
New York 1610
Connecticut 1210
Massachusetts 1150
Rhode Island 870
District of Columbia 850
Louisiana 680
Michigan 610
Illinois 540
Delaware 520
Maryland 520
Pennsylvania 510 
If you remove these states (the worst 12 ) from the numbers the rest of the United States has performed better than most of the world.
What do each of these twelve state have in common? They are all among the states which expanded Medicaid. IOW these are the states which fully embraced Obamacare. If it were a matter of chance, at least four of these states should be from the group which failed to expand Medicaid, instead, none of them are. If there is any relationship between how well a state has dealt with the COVID-19 crises and degree of integration of Obamacare then it is an inverse relationship. The more a state integrated it's health-care system with Obamacare the less likely it is that they had a lower death-rate from the illness.

The biggest problem early on in America was that testing was far too slow. This produced chaos in our early response because no one could tell if they were infected or not. This too was a result of an overly-centralized healthcare delivery system. In this case, early on the CDC insisted that all testing would go through them. The centralized response slowed things down and it wasn't until things were out of hand that they threw in the towel and let a decentralized approach to testing resolve the problem. Would that have been more likely or less likely to have been the case without Obamacare imposing a centralized, if clunky, healthcare system on the nation?

Government has a legitimate role in stopping the spread of highly infectious diseases. There is no evidence to support the belief that Obamacare is the best way, or even a good way, to do that. We don't need Obamacare to protect us from COVID-19, and there is evidence to suggest that we could do better without it.


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