A lot of Americans have strong opinions against the law. But rarely do they have offer alternative solutions. Dr. Keith Kantor chaired the Blue Ribbon panel for the House of Representatives from June 2011 through January 2012 where he coordinated efforts of health care professionals, including himself, to come up with recommendations to lower costs in the U.S. health care system -- such as addressing the complex relationship between our nation's health care system, nutrition, government subsidies and disease prevention. Ultimately, Kantor believes Obamacare will have a hard time working. We spoke with him about why.
DMN: You say there is no possible way the Affordable Care Act can be implemented. What do you base this claim on?
I don't say that it will not be implemented, I say that it will not work. When you try to solve a real world problem with a political solution it rarely works. When you force private business to spend money on areas not covered before and don't expect other prices to rise to cover that expense, you are foolish. So what we see are prices for most policies rising to pay for those that are artificially held down and for mandates like covering pre-existing conditions. This was supposed to be made up for by adding 30 million more people to the insurance rolls but with the individual penalties (taxes) so small and all the marketplace confusion, this is not happening. So we have rising prices and no large influx of new people. This combination will cause failure.
DMN: What does the employer mandate delay signify to you?
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This is being done for political reasons. I said back in January of 2013 that all the unpopular parts of Obamacare would be delayed until after the 2014 Congressional elections. This is what we are now seeing. The idea is to push it off the table as much as possible, so the Republicans can't use it as a campaign issue.
DMN: What other delays in implementation do you foresee?
We have already seen the exchanges delay the marketplace concept, where we would have 7-10 policy choices by October 2013. Now we will only have one choice in the exchanges until October 2014. The long term care provision has been dropped from implementation and the employer mandate has been delayed for a year. The individual mandate, which is very unpopular, will be delayed before the end of the year. Many people already have waivers (like most union members) and it is not politically sustainable to only delay it for what appears to be your supporters so this too will be delayed until after the 2014 election.