Politics

NYT Defines Obamacare Success: Fewer Options, but Better Coordinated

|

Line to buy shoes, Soviet Union, 1983

Contrived in secrecy; approved in a sordid backstairs intrigue that took place, like all true debauchery, in the deepest hours of a Saturday night; signed in a muted, regretful ceremony; unpopular with voters; hated by states; inflationary, monopolizing and cruel: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act yet reigns, according to The New York Times' Reed Abelson, Gardiner Harris and Robert Pear. 

The 2,000-word piece sings the triumph of the state, wheeling in disinterested bystanders such as Blue Shield of California COO Paul Markovich to applaud PPACA as "a statement that things need to change and that the status quo doesn't work" which sent "a loud message to all the players."

A song to government triumph does not seek to prove the rightness of the crown's cause. It is enough to praise the state's triumph and marvel at its desolating grandeur. 

So Los Tiempos takes note of the ways PPACA, informally known as "Obamacare," leads to industry consolidation, loss of choice among hospitals and insurers, higher prices, rationed care, and depressed hiring. In fact, I can find only one argument – other than the fact that it prevailed – in favor of Obamacare: 

[S]ome patients with insurance will probably find their choices more limited. But their care may be better coordinated.

That's as close as America's newspaper of record comes to arguing that Obamacare may lead to better outcomes for patients. So why is the Times so happy that the law's effects are "already well cemented and popular"? 

And by the way, the article's only further mention of popularity seems to argue the opposite: "The law is increasingly unpopular with the public, including Democrats, according to recent surveys." As for the claim that Obamacare is "cemented," the only things that should be cemented in this world are your house and your enemies.

Finally, I'm form-and-legalese averse almost to the point of paralysis, and yet I have never in my life wished that my options of doctors and dentists were "better coordinated." I've wished they were cheaper, more plentiful and better able to cure what ails me and mine. But "coordinated"? Just wasn't on the wish list.