When I was a kid, there were no Ipads or Chromebooks or, well – anything really but books. And in school you had book bags, and you schlogged those books from class to class to your locker and then home again. And back. Moms would wise up early on in the shopping cycle and get heavier duty backpacks that didn’t rip out at the bottoms from the weight of all the larger books. If you had Advanced Placement classes back then, you probably have scoliosis or degenerative disc disease right now, but I digress.
One of the books we were given to read, was “1984” by George Orwell. This dystopian novel revealed a government-centric world filled with what Orwell called, “double speak”. It was a way of saying something, and the opposite-something simultaneously with the expectation people should and then eventually would accept it.
One example of such comes in the form of this quote,
“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
I didn’t really appreciate what I was being taught at the time about the technique, but I’ll share what I’m seeing today as a result of the awareness.
I want you to imagine that we’re the CEO of McDonald’s. As of 2015, there were 36,525 McDonalds restaurants world wide. That’s 32 thousand.
Imagine with me – hypothetically – that the CEO (let’s call him Mr. McHappypants) came out with some new kind of program for all the stores. He was really excited about it – and somehow convinced everyone that his McHappypants idea was going to make everyone – burger sellers, happy. Burgers were going to cost less money – and more people were going to have access to burgers. Win win all around.
What would happen if that idea caused over half of those stores to close? Close to 19,000 stores closed, in a few years, as a result of the one idea?
You and I both know exactly what would happen. Mr. McHappypants would be relieved of his duties as the McDonalds CEO. There would be a massive shakeup. Investors would demand investigations into possible corruption and lawsuits would be filed.
So, about that.
Last night I was reading this article from CNN Money. I found this one paragraph particularly interesting:
“Instead, Obamacare funded the creation of non-profit co-op insurers to provide consumers with alternatives. But more than half of them have failed since their debut in 2014, undone mainly by enrollees’ unexpectedly high medical use. Other insurers — particularly UnitedHealthcare () — have announced they are pulling out of Obamacare, further restricting consumers’ choices.” (emphasis added)
This isn’t about the whole, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”, thing. Or the, “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”, thing. As I write it, I’m not sure what it’s really about other than to point out the Health Care Exchanges – the lynch pin of the entire Affordable Care Act, are going going gone.
The Exchanges Supreme Court Justice Roberts had to bend the law insisting the word “State” didn’t mean what you and I were taught “State” meant – are failing. Have failed. You’ll never believe why. Some of you will, maybe.
“Many insurers found enrollees have higher health care needs than expected, forcing them to hike rates.”
So, do you remember the math of how this was all supposed to work out?
The plans were hinged on the McHappypants idea that there would be tons and tons of younger healthier people paying premiums. That we’d all be in the plans together – and the multitudes of younger happier and healthier people paying into the newly created exchanges would offset the costs of the older people with pre-existing health conditions. It was the first time in our history as a nation that the Federal Government forced its citizens to buy a product, or be fined.
The problem with that – is it never happened. Because the fines were unenforceable (I believe intentionally). If you’re a young 20 something – the only way the government can collect your fine is if you receive a tax refund. If you don’t – there’s literally no language in the law collect the fine. Moreover – if you lie on your tax form and say, “I already have a plan”, there’s no way to verify if you’re lying. Ever. So this happened instead.
CNN writes as a result,
“A recent Kaiser study found the benchmark silver plan premiums are projected to rise 10% for 2017, on average, for a 40-year-old consumer in 14 major cities. That’s double the 5% increase for 2016 policies”
If you’re reading this, you probably have a policy that’s increased 10, 15, or even 20 percent in the last few years. Your rates never went down. Most of my friends don’t have a plan at all, in fact- they don’t make enough money to purchase one, but make too much money to qualify for the subsidies to get anything. Double-speak is really good at telling you the crap sandwich you’re eating tastes amazing.
Ok. So what’s the suggestion? How do we get out of this mess that is only getting worse by the day? A public plan. Or a “Single Payer” health care system (like the VA).
“Adding a public plan in such areas would strengthen the marketplace approach, giving consumers more affordable options while also creating savings for the federal government…” (President Obama)
I’ve made all these graphics and written all these things to warn, and to educate you.
This is coming. It’s the next phase. It was always the intention.
When the plan came out, there were a host of predictions made. My favorite (I listen to all media outlets, not just the “right”) was from Rush Limbaugh. In 2013 Limbaugh (hate him or love him, just read) said this:
“Americans had to lose their healthcare plans in order to for Obamacare to work. There was never any intention for anybody to keep their current plan. The only way Obamacare could work, as designed by Obama and the Democrats, is precisely because people would lose their plan. It had to happen that way. The only way Obamacare could work, the only way Obama could reform the healthcare system the way he wants to reform it is, precisely if everybody lost their plan.”
The shift is happening – right now.
As early as a year ago – former Secretary of State Ms. Clinton was against a “single payer” health plan. Just a few days before the Iowa caucuses, she said that a public option – a single payer plan – would “never, ever” happen. That the ACA was fine. And she would defend it voraciously.
Just before being acquitted essentially of all charges in her email scandal this month, Ms. Clinton had this to say…using new language and terminology….a change of heart maybe?
“I’m also in favor of what’s called the public option,”
In addition to this – here’s the ‘solution’ that scares me – and should scare all of you, the most. President Obama made what has probably been the most dystopian suggestion I’ve heard, to date….
” he said Congress should help reduce the cost of prescription drugs by requiring drug makers to disclose their production and development costs, increasing the rebates manufacturers must give for drugs prescribed to certain Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and allowing the federal government to negotiate prices for certain high-cost medications.”
The Federal Government will soon have the ability to go to any corporation and force them to reveal private information about their business. Negotiated raw products prices and contracts with suppliers. Salaries of research and development staff. Sales and Marketing practices. All of it. Just short of taking a patented product developed by said companies and making it themselves (for the good of the people).
Those of you who have read the novel, “Atlas Shrugged” just shivered with me. It’s happening….now.
“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” (Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand)
What’s the point of all this? The point is – it’s coming. It will be here, soon. It’s here, already in many instances. There is no point of return.
Double-speak is a powerful tool in the hands of those who craft its verbiage. I’ve found for as many people were were in favor of the ACA – in countless presentations of all of the facts – defend it vehemently to this day. Even as their premiums rise. Even as their plans are cancelled. Even as their deductibles rise from $2,500 to $10,000 and $15,000. Even as they all get ready to stand in line with the Veterans who have been waiting as long as as a year to see their VA doctor, many dying as they waited.
Orwell predicted this though long ago when he said,
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”