The blog is a view of life, science, politics and education from an engineering perspective. As engineers, we are taught to view the world objectively. We can hope, believe and calculate a particular outcome, but natural laws are inflexible and pay no heed to who we are or what we believe. We must approach the objective dispassionately, while compensating for our own distorted perceptions. Balance is also a key element; balancing between the ideal and the pragmatic, balancing cost and functionality, balancing analysis with action, etc.
Scheduling routine critical self-analysis is the foundation to objectivity. If we do not fully understand and compensate for our own failures, tendencies, habits and skewed thought processes, we will not see the world as it is. Without a regular critical self-analysis we will see the world as we are and then fall prey to self-delusion.
Failure is a great teacher. When failure is coupled with perseverance, it produces the fruit of patience and humility. An engineer, fresh out of engineering school is typically set up for failure early and often. The failure breaks the new engineer of any ideas of self-importance, arrogance and book smarts. Only then can the new engineer be formed and molded into a productive element in the industry.
Obamacare was sold to the American people with several promises and expectations. One of the sales pitches was that with everyone contributing to health care, the costs to the infirmed and elderly would be manageable. About a third of the participants would be in the 18-35 range. The people in this age range typically use very little in the way of healthcare costs. The administration told us that if the younger healthy people buy the insurance, it will be available for them when the next crop of young healthy people enters the system.
We were also told that if we like our current plan or doctor we would be able to keep them. In essence we were told that the vast majority of American would not be affected by Obamacare and therefore there is no reason to vote against it or not like. Obamacare was sold as a program to primarily care for the uninsured. About 10 to 20 millions were not insured, but if everyone contributes, the cost for these uninsured people would be minimal.
The plan was sold as a cheaper alternative to private insurance. The average family of four would save $200 per month under Obamacare, according to those pushing the plan.
None of the promises came close to hitting the mark.
Now that Obamacare is being implemented we find that so far about 4 million existing insurance policies have been canceled, affecting about 15 million people. These policies were individual-based catastrophic policies. The premiums were low, deductibles were high, contained a health savings account and were generally purchased by middle income self-insured individuals and families. These policies did not fit the new requirements for health care coverage.
Representative Hoyer claims that when drafting the program, they knew that the loss of insurance was a possibility. He now claims that everyone was aware that people could lose their existing plan and doctor.
We also found out that the idea of forcing the 18-35 demographic to sign up en masse to subsidize the elderly, is not realistic. First, a person up to 26 years old can stay on their parent’s insurance plan. Second, the younger demographic is not in the higher income bracket and their insurance rates would be low. Third, many in 18-35 age group would prefer to pay the $150 fine rather than spend $320 per month for insurance.
Of the thousands that have signed up for Obamacare, my guess is that the percentage of individuals in the 18-35 range is quite low; far less than the anticipated 30%.
Obamacare is significantly more costly than advertised. The Society of Actuaries projects a 79.5 percent average hike in the first two to three years of full national health care in the insurance that Wisconsin residents will buy on the exchanges the law creates — an increase from an average of $258 per month to $463.
A young, healthy person buying insurance on the exchanges will see up to a tripling of health insurance costs. Meanwhile, someone in his late 50s might see a slight cost reduction. Example: A 25-year-old who might have paid about $100 per month pre-ACA could see his monthly rate skyrocket to about $300. But a man in his late 50s who might have been paying $1,000 monthly would see his rate decline to $900, because the ACA does not allow more than a three-to-one spread in rates between young and old.
My prognosis is that relatively few people will participate in Obamacare, the rest will prefer to pay the fines. Those who do participate in it are those with pre-existing conditions and will drain the program.
The system, as designed, can not be self-sustaining and will collapse. A new system will rise featuring a single payer, more intrusive monitoring and regulation and push the elimination of all private insurance.
The program that was sold to the American never existed, but relied on strident deception to get the minimal amount of buy-in that it did receive.
Obama’s response was, in essence, “Stop whining and get with the program. We know better about what you need than you do.” What ever was sold to us 3 years ago is irrelevant.
When I can’t make sense of what is happening in the administration, I go back to the play book written by Saul Alinsky. I found a concept that might explain some of it. Alinsky said that anything that promotes the cause is true. Of course, I think if anyone promises things they know that can’t deliver, I consider it a lie or deception. Alinsky believes that if the deception is used to promote an agenda, then it is good.
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