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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

On the Third Hand: Upside down

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I try to be fairly neutral about the ultimate success or failure of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) because, first, what do I know? I’m just a reporter.

Second, even if I did know what would happen with PPACA, why would anyone believe me? If I had great psychic powers, I’d be living on a tropical island drinking ice lattes marked with little foam A’s by my personal barista, not banging out columns on deadline.

Third, the truth is that I’m madly in love with anyone I call who calls me back and gives me clear, interesting quotes. I’m not really (really) all that opinionated one way or the other about the future of PPACA; I am deliriously in favor of one-syllable nouns and active verbs.

But, I’ll say this: It makes me nervous to see that the Republican party seems to be becoming the party in charge of pointing out that Medicaid is underfunded and has serious provider access problems, and that suddenly downsizing a federal “risk pool” health insurance program for people with serious health problems is means.

It also makes me nervous to see the kinds of consumer groups and publications — example: The New York Times — that normally would favor the heaping of every possible education and continuing education requirement on anyone selling anything suddenly opposing PPACA exchange plan enroller certification or licensing requirements.

On the one hand, I think it’s reasonable for society of have safety-net health programs for the poor and I think it’s reasonable for the exchanges and the people selling exchange coverage to ask for protection against excessive red tape that exists solely to strangle them, not to protect consumers.

On the other hand, it’s a little disconcerting to see Republicans suddenly caring about how long poor people wait to see a doctor, and a little troubling to see the exchanges and their friends discounting the idea that exchange plan enrollers can be crooked jerks, too.

On the third hand, maybe it doesn’t matter what the people on either the left or the right are saying, given that they all seemed to be owned by the NSA, anyway. Maybe someone can cut to the chase, look up who’s in charge of the NSA, and see how he (or she?) wants to run the health care system, given that whoever’s in charge of the NSA probably runs whatever he (or she) wants to run, and just humors us by giving us the comforting illusion that we still have free will.

If any of us sass back, the head of the NSA can just push us back into line by publishing spreadsheets showing exactly how much time we spent looking at funny YouTube videos when we were supposedly racing to meet deadlines.

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