Catalyzing a Change Election   1 comment

Why did the voters choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?

There are myriad of reasons. You can’t put your finger on just one catalyst. Yeah, Wikileaks played a part … not the least of which were Hillary’s own words as found in John Podesta’s emails.

And, certainly, Donald Trump is an amazing entertainer who really knows how to play a crowd. Like hucksters in generations past, he gave his audience what they wanted and it paid off for him.

Image result for image of the failure of obamacareBut ultimately, when people walk into that voting booth, they cast a ballot for their own interests. So why did Trump win rather than Hillary?

People are profoundly unhappy with the direction of the country. Polls have shown that for 10 years. Barack Obama managed to use that to his advantage in 2008. He offered “change” and people voted for embrace it. Eight years down the road, people remain deeply unhappy with President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement – the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — unaffectionately known as Obamacare.

You kind of have to be blind … or living under a rock … to not know that the ACA is falling apart. Oh, wait … Hillary Clinton committed to preserve and expand it! Wow! No, wonder Trump won.

Did Hillary think the voters were stupid? That was a miscalculation. Voters remembered the hollow promises that medical costs and insurance premiums would fall, if you liked your insurance you could keep it, and you could keep your doctor. Over the past two years, weekly surveys by Rasmussen Reports have showed that two-thirds of the adult population think the country is heading in the wrong direction. At one time that percentage was as high as 72 percent, but it never dipped below 62 and was as high as 72. Few things were as unpopular as Obamacare. — public disapproval from the moment it was suggested has always been more than 50%.

President Obama’s baby was pushed through by unconstitutional legislative maneuvers without a single Republican vote. Our memories are longer than the political cycle. As the election neared, insurers pulled out of healthcare markets all over the country while out-of-pocket costs (deductibles and co-insurance) skyrocketed, and insurance premium prices mushroomed. Premiums for enrollment starting November 1 of this year, just days before the election, increased 25% on average, which North Carolina saw increases of 40%, Pennsylvania increases of 53%, Minnesota increases of 59%, and Arizona increases of 116%. Yes, that is ONE HUNDRED and SIXTEEN PERCENT.

Despite all this evidence showing that it is a failure about to eat the middle class’s lunch, Hillary Clinton remained a steadfast Obamacare supporter, promising to expand it by adding a “public option.” The only way to get rid of it was to defeat Clinton and other Democrats.

House Republicans have been working on this issue almost since it passed and have already advanced a well-thought-out plan that could never make it past President Obama or Madam Clinton.There is no question that this election was a repudiation of President Obama’s policies, but more it was a correction of the electoral error made in 2008. Despite almost unanimous media forecasts that Democrats would regain control of the Senate and possibly the House, Republicans retained control of both chambers comfortably. Why?

Yes, Hillary Clinton was an awful candidate who deep flaws, but it’s unlikely any Democrat who refused to see the deepening problems with Obamacare could have won this election.

Donald Trump hasn’t given a lot of specifics about how he would “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but he has been really clear that, within his first hundred days in office, he plans to do that, with the help of Congressional Republicans and those Democrats who want to be on the right side of history.

Image result for image tea party obamacareHouse Republicans have already advanced a comprehensive plan that promotes consumer-directed health care to increase choice and flexibility, decrease costs, protect vulnerable Americans, increase innovation, and preserve Medicare and Medicaid without expanding federal control and regulation. All President Trump needs to do is sign it into law and he becomes the man who saved medical care in the United States by agreeing with the American people … who, by the way, knew all along that Obamacare was doomed to failure.

Remember the Teaparty?

Yeah, they were right! The backward idiots who opposed progress saw the handwriting on the wall.

The new system punched every middle-class person in this country right where it hurt the most. There were ever fewer choices as ever more insurers went belly up. If you managed to hold onto your coverage, you had no way of knowing whether your doctor or hospital would accept your provider because the ACA didn’t mandate that they do so. You had no way of forcing the insurer to actually cover what it said it would cover on paper. Demands for documentation as insurers sought to pay for as little as possible.Millions of people suddenly lived in a state of extreme anxiety where they had no way of knowing if the next doctor’s visit would cost them $40 or thousands.

All polls showed this to be an incredibly bad system. And yet, Hillary dismissed all concerns and proudly reminded the world that it was her idea first. We used to call it Hillarycare in the 1990s. We rejected it then too.

In the swing states that determined the outcome of this election, Obamacare was the thing that turned passive voters into active voters, Democrats into Republicans, and independents into Trump voters.

For example, Wisconsin is mostly a blue state and so it shocked everyone when it voted for Trump. The exit polls show Obamacare was the drive concensus among all the issues. Only 17% said it was fine as is. Fully 45% of those surveyed after the vote said that it had gone too far. Among that 45%, 81% voted for Trump. That alone was enough to turn Wisconsin from blue to red and provide a turning point in the electoral count.

 

It’s become so bad that Bill Clinton remarked negatively on Obamacare only a monght before the vote.

“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.”

Apparently, someone forgot to tell him that his wife was saying Obamacare was just lovely. The next day, he walked back his comments and they were immediately buried.

Obamacare was Obama’s biggest domestic initiative. It had all the smart, elite people behind it and it flopped, destroying people’s confidence in something that is at the core of their lives. We all need to go to the doctor sometime.

So for those poeple who want to insist this is a “win” for racism, xenophobia, sexism or whatever …. No. Just take a pause and consider that the outcome of this election is a verdict on a failed system of medical insurance mascarading as health care delivery and the thought process that created it. That loss of confidence in a signature program of both the outgoing president and the Democratic candidate whose brainchild it really was reflected negatively on everything she said. If she couldn’t be truthful about the overwhelming evidence that her program wasn’t working, then she couldn’t sympathize at all with the problems people who actually have to budget to pay bills. How then could they trust her with the presidency? Nothing spoke of the disconnect the elite ruling class has with the middle class than the refusal to see the failure of Obamacare. This played right into Trum[‘s message that the elites don’t care about the people.

 

Of course, hating a bad system and punishing its champion and the party that supported her is a lot easier than fixing the problem. The pre-existing conditions aspect of the ACA is the most popular part of the program, but it is also what is driving up the costs of the program. This is why Trump already appears to be softening on some of his repeal and replace rhetoric. The future may see an endless stream of confusing proposals, complexities and regulatory tweaks rather than a clean fix.

Meanwhile, we have unfettered access to food, clothing, transportation, home repairs, auto insurance and communications and these services have improved and expanded magnificiently in the last decade. So why is our healthcare degrading? Is there something structurally different about medicare services that requires government to control their delivery?

According to my cousin, a world-class research doctor in neurology and immunology, the answer to this is “No!” Medical service is like any other service, except that it has been wrapped tightly in redtape and constrained by regulation to the point where the provider and the customer cannot interact directly with one another without essentially going through a middleman. It was bad enough when that middleman was the insurance companies, but if you make the government the manager of the system, you inject politics into the process.

The only way to fix the problem is to reduce government control of medical services and allow the market to work as it does so well in so many other areas.

 

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Posted November 15, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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