Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

October 31, 2013

Pursuit of happiness should include healthcare

Pursuit of happiness should include healthcare

Editor, Townsman:

Déjà vu ...

“Smaller, smarter health-care reform is medicine we need” was the heading of my letter published three years ago. (Oct. 28, 2010, http://www.andovertownsman.com/opinion/x104120827/Letter-Smaller-smarter-health-care-reform-is-medicine-we-need.) The points there resonate eerily today, as the astronomical costs and cancerous bureaucracy of the ObamaCare law (PPACA) are now beginning to hemorrhage. In 2010, I called it “a battle of big government control, versus freedom of choice and enterprise.” More and more Americans are finally waking up to what that means.

Billions of our tax dollars have now been spent in Washington, to further document and promote this law, with very little return for that money.

Hundreds of millions have been spent on the exchange website alone — a site that does not work (or barely) —- and the spending continues. These costs are orders of magnitude more than a well-functioning website would have cost in the private sector. As a software engineer and project management professional myself, I have been following news reports to understand how and why this could happen ... but I already knew. The biggest problems have not been rooted in technical issues, but rather in dysfunctional management, compounded by political corruption of the process ... from no-bid contracts to grossly inadequate testing, etc. There has also been a disturbing political cover-up involved, to hide the huge increases in premiums and deductibles that ObamaCare brings to the great majority of Americans. This led to last-minute website changes, forced on developers by politicians and bureaucrats. The changes intentionally made it very difficult for consumers to find out the real costs of health insurance through the exchange, even when the site worked. Similar cost increases will greet most American consumers and businesses when they next renew their policies (perhaps less so in Massachusetts, since RomneyCare has already raised costs significantly here).

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