Why Obamacare Sucks. ~ Carolyn Gilligan

Via elephant journal
on Jul 11, 2012
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If it were up to me, everyone in this country would have equal access to healthcare.

Providing proper, comprehensive healthcare for the most vulnerable members of our society, should be on the forefront of concerns.

Protecting women’s rights and access to affordable, unbiased health care should be one of our top priorities.

In her piece, “Over It,” Eve Ensler eloquently says, “The destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself. No women, no future, duh.”

“Duh” is right.

However, I don’t think Obamacare is the answer.

In fact, I think it is a system based on hierarchy rather than equality that will make an already dire situation much worse.

It is an “affordable health care act” that isn’t affordable at all. Unfortunately, it does nothing to actually control soaring healthcare costs in this country. It will actually make the burden of shouldering one of the most inefficient, yet exuberantly costly medical systems in the entire world, much worse.

Contrary to popular belief, this act will not benefit the nation’s unemployed recent graduates who still rely on their parents coverage, those struggling day in and day out to survive by the grace of G-d, those working tirelessly to support their families and still not making enough money to get by, all the “lazy” unemployed poor folk, societies throwaways living in our cities increasingly violent, drug infested, dead-end ghettos, or women whose reproductive rights and access to health care are used unabashedly as political bargaining chips mercilessly election after election.

Who has the most to gain from this health insurance mandate?

The multi-billion dollar medical industry will absolutely benefit. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical and medical supply firms stand to make a lot of money from this piece of legislation.

The medical industrial complex—much like the military industrial complex and prison industrial complex—promotes special interest at the cost of the common good.

In this case, the cost is the physical health of American citizens economic health of the nation.

Forcing people who do not have an employer-provided health plan or any other type of coverage, to buy an overpriced policy provided by the private insurance agency for themselves and/or their families and then punishing them with fines (taxes) when they fail to do so, does not serve the greater good.

Who will be most harmed by this health insurance mandate?

That is an interesting question. It’s a strange situation that is going on for sure. The nation’s poor will actually be the ones most negatively affected by this act, and yet somehow this mandate has only managed to create more feelings of resentment toward those who are living below the poverty line and built a stronger momentum around America’s war on the poor.

Many Medicaid recipients are going to be forced to buy insurance that they can not afford. When they don’t buy the government mandated insurance plans, they will be penalized by IRS.

I can’t even count the number of times in the past few weeks I have heard people saying they don’t want their tax dollars funding Obamacare. Translation, I don’t want my hard-earned being spent on poor people. Don’t worry, it’s not.

To me such a mandate seems more like a conservatives wet dream than a liberal’s dream come true.

In case you have been hiding under a rock the last few months, or maybe you are just purposely avoiding the news (for which I don’t blame you—it can be disheartening—but it isn’t all bad), you know that Mitt Romney is against Obamacare and vows to overturn it if he elected in November’s presidential election.

Interestingly enough Romney himself, though he adamantly condemns Obamacare, was responsible for launching a state health plan in Massachusetts that would similarly impose an insurance mandate and a tax fine.

I wish Obama would flip flop like Romney did.

I wish that the thinly veiled neoliberalisim paradigm at play that stands to benefit private interest and maximize the personal profit of our nationals most wealthy at the expense of the lives of millions and the future of our earth wasn’t masquerading as a do gooder social service, getting everyone access to healthcare.

“For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” ~ Luke 12:48


Carolyn is a daughter, sister, best friend, listener, lover, ice cream eater, sometimes writer, easily excitable, embarrassingly gullible yoga teacher in training who drinks too much coffee, makes a lot of mistakes and has too much fun for her own good.




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35 Responses to “Why Obamacare Sucks. ~ Carolyn Gilligan”

  1. Suzanne says:

    I must agree – I am not sure our country can afford Obamacare! Far too many work at jobs to make ends meet and some may be fortunate enough to have some kind of insurance but unfortunately – many, many do not. We do need to wake up and vote for Change!

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Well: we've already been legally (let alone, morally) obligated to care for those who go to the emergency room and who, without healthcare, haven't engaged in (comparitivel cheap) preventative medicine…and Obamacare helps 30 million additional Americans to care for themselves longterm, avoid needless sickness, and remain productive members of our society and economy.

    The notion that Obamacare is more expensive isn't backed up by economists. Rather the opposite. Remember: we have one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world (already) and yet it's far from top-ranked.

  3. yogi henry says:

    with respect elephant journal respondent your statement: “The notion that Obamacare is more expensive isn’t backed up by economists” isn’t supported by all sources…i have read that rates have already skyrocketed and that not all people will be able to keep the insurance coverage they have right now. So there are obviously economists on both sides with opposite predictions.
    What I can’t understand is how this “affordable health care act” has anything to do with affordable health care when in fact it is just a huge, huge tax increase on the working class. This was the majority opinion of the US Supreme Court. I do not trust or support any legislation that requires the hiring of 18,000 IRS agents to enforce it’s regulations. There are over 20 tax increases included in this act. It was passed by deception and lies.
    The “fool me once, fool me twice” saying seems to be appropriate here. I have to agree with Carolyn and Suzanne.

  4. Steve says:

    To state that our nation's poorest people will be harmed by a law that creates a process where they will be eligible to have health insurance is a ludicrous and, frankly, offensive statement to make. Your arguments aren't even backed up by really any facts or figures to make such claims.

    Here's the deal: people who are too poor to afford health insurance will be given financial assistance to be able to purchase it. The government won't be forcing them to purchase a product they don't want. Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I think low-income people would prefer to have insurance. And Obamacare creates a system where they will be able to have health insurance when they otherwise wouldn't. To say that that is somehow harmful to low-income people is an argument I can't begin to understand.

    Who benefits? Yes, you're right that big insurance and big pharma stands to make a boatload of cash. Why? Because we're giving them millions more customers over night that they didn't previously have. We live in a capitalist system. Just because these giant corporations (which I, like you, dislike their power and influence on our democracy) stand to gain doesn't mean the millions of uninsured and underinsured won't also be gaining. It's like saying "schools are good for society because they provide knowledge and skills for young people to have a future. But if we build more schools then construction companies and text book publishers stand to make a lot of money. Therefore, we shouldn't build more schools."

    I agree that Obamacare isn't perfect. It doesn't do enough to bring down health care costs. But it's absolutely a step in the right direction compared to where we would be headed with the status quo.

  5. HonestOpinion says:

    The tax will actually be pretty cheap. Much cheaper than buying a policy. Carolyn, I would urge you to consider that there is a trajectory that extends far into the future with legislation like this. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than the status quo? I think so. It is definitely a step in the right direction. Patience is the key. As and your peers age, administrations will come and go. They will add to and take away from this legislation until it is refined and made more efficient, more effective and fair for all. It is unrealistic to want it to be 100% perfect right up front. It will need to evolve from here and I believe it will. But then again, I am an optimist. I also feel that those on the far left, like yourself, need to dispense with the "evil corporation" rhetoric. Corporations do great things for society. They employ lots of people, make high quality, cost effective goods, streamline their distribution and make them readily available for our consumption. They pay lots of taxes, their stock shares fund the retirement of countless retirees and they compete with one another to give us better goods and services for an increasingly better standard of living. That is the reality. Enough with the evil corporations talk. You wouldn't want to imagine life in America, or anywhere for that matter, without them.

  6. Steve says:

    This is not a "huge, huge tax increase on the working class." In fact, it's not a tax at all unless if you decide for some reason that you don't want health insurance. And, economists are already saying that the "tax" or penalty isn't actually even big enough to effectively persuade obstinant people into purchasing health insurance if they really don't want it.

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Again, we're already covering emergency room visits, and we lose fellow American workers' value to our precious economy if they're sick, injured, which will generally happen much more if they don't have coverage. Preventative is much cheaper than emergency.

    As for the image, "elitist," that's classic GOP doublethink: it's precisely the opposite, of course.

  8. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you.

  9. just breathe says:

    It ceases to amaze me that there are people whom think getting legislation passed is as easy as signing a piece of paper. This simplistic and idealistic view in this article is an insult to the most elementary of intelligence. Or maybe I'm just missing the point of the "it's all about me" (as opposed to 'us') mentality. Perhaps this documentary will help those understand we are all in this together. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdea

  10. elephantjournal says:

    Via Shay: "With a $50,000 emergency room visit from last year bill that I have to pay, I can't afford insurance. Especially now that rates have started rising, fining me $700 a year will not make it easier for me to pay for health insurance."

    Annie Bodnar you know what? it's not perfect… it's not single-payer. but it's a start… it gives 30M more people access to healthcare…. and that's better than 4 more decades of nothing.

    Michael Manalo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mUV9ze7fVw&fe
    O'Donnell: Doesn't Mitt Romney Have a Credibility Problem?

    Annie Bodnar btw… she is mistaken on numerous accounts… and she should actually take time to read the law and to understand the complexities of it if she is going to write an article on it instead of bashing it based on media sound-bytes. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/full/index.html
    Read the Law | HealthCare.gov <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov” target=”_blank”>www.healthcare.gov
    The Affordable Care Act puts in place comprehensive health reforms that enhance …See More

    Donna Runion Yay, Annie, someone willing to stand for the facts!

    Annie Bodnar personally, I'm a little shocked that waylon is allowing someone so uninformed to write on his behalf.

    Shelly Atwood It ceases to amaze me that there are people whom think getting legislation passed is as easy as signing a piece of paper. This simplistic and idealistic view in this article is an insult to the most elementary of intelligence. Or perhaps I'm missing the point of the "it's all about me" (as opposed to 'us') mentality. Perhaps this documentary will help those understand we are all in this together. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdea
    Obama’s Deal | FRONTLINE | PBS <a href="http://www.pbs.org” target=”_blank”>www.pbs.org
    A sobering look at the push to reform health care, revealing the realities of Am…See More

    DaleElena Eccellente If you had been able to get affordable insurance, which is what Obamacare is all about, you wouldn't have that 50K medical bill.
    And the $700 you mention is not a hard and fast number. It will not be a direct fine, but may reflect on what you can deduct from your taxes, taking into account each person's ability to pay.

    elephantjournal.com When budget cuts hit my government job, my only choice was COBRA for $600 a month, which I couldn't afford. Fell down and cracked my skull open so I will be paying for it for awhile. I know it is not a hard and fast number but it is an estimate based upon a study done by the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Law and Health for someone in my economic range. ~Shay

    Annie Bodnar a waiver is written into the law.

    DaleElena Eccellente Shay – You're right $600 a month is NOT affordable for most people. I went through the COBRA rip-off myself. The goal is that everyone will have AFFORDABLE insurance.

    elephantjournal.com Fact-light article, but happy to host the worthwhile discussion. See Steve's comments below the article itself. ~ Waylon.

    Annie, search "Obamacare" or "Health Care Reform" or even just "Health Care" on elephantjournal.com, you'll see where I stand. I however am not the voice of our mission: community comments are. My role is not to censor, unless it's hate speech. I have to say, given the ridiculous image, this one came close. That said, I think the author is doing our largely-ignorant (on this subject), complacent community a favor by provoking us, including me, to read up more on…you know, the facts. ~ Waylon

  11. Bridget says:

    Thank you, Steve. It's not perfect, but providing access is a start. As a parent of a severely disabled and medically fragile child I know first hand so many of failures and triumphs of our health care system. And both do happen. The Affordable Health Care Act ensures that my son has access to life saving care. It ensures that the poor have access to preventative care for the first time ever in this country. It ensures that families who have a member with a significant health issues won't lose their homes and have to declare bankruptcy. Yeah, big pharma and big insurance win (and don't talk to me about big business in health care, I could go on for days from a perspective I hope most of you never experience). Yeah, it's a tax (we're glad to pay for other flawed services, like the CDC, the FDA and the FBI with our tax money). It used women as a political bargaining chip (the more things change, the more they stay the same — breathe a collective sigh and keep fighting that fight). Let's run with it Build on it. Nurture it's evolution. If we never attempted something because our first try wasn't going to be perfect, where would we be? Embrace the change as a step in the evolution of healthcare law, not as a perfect product. Be the change, and keep pushing at the edges of it. Public policy is a moving target.

  12. Thaddeus1 says:

    You know this debate is all fine and good, but IMHO, it completely and utterly misses the point.

    It's par for the course that the average, and in the case of this thread, above average Americans will sit by and contemplate who and what and how much all the while neglecting the fact that health care should be a universal human right free to all members of society. I mean, seriously, the rest of the industrial world has figured out how to make this work. What exactly is our problem?

    Oh, right, I forgot that Obama, just like all other politicians in this country, are solidly in the pocket of the special interests. None of them have the balls (or ovaries) to actually think about the welfare of the people they are "elected" by to govern. It's a sham. The insurance companies will continue to get rich. The average American will continue to take it in the ass and we'll all sit around think that the politicians really have our best interest at heart. It's a joke.

  13. Jade Doherty says:

    That's true. In England we don't think twice about free healthcare. Granted the service isn't always the best, but everyone who works pays taxes towards the NHS and EVERYONE (even if they don't work) can use it.

    I can't imagine how another system could have gained popularity!

  14. Thaddeus1 says:

    Well, don't fool yourself. There isn't anything popular about healthcare in America except for those who make money off of it. And the care received here is not always the best either. Those prone to assert such things are simply delusional (one need only look at the statistics regarding infant mortality etc of industrialized nations) and caught up in affirming their sense of selves as "living in the best country."

  15. @roCkerChick says:

    It's imperfect. It's not universal and we still have a for profit system. What it does do is cover those who cannot afford insurance themselves. Stop insurers from denying you for preexisting conditions. Stop insurers from charging you more simply because you have a vagina. It forces insurers to spend 80% of your premiums on your care or send you a freaking refund! It allows you to put your child up to age 26 on your insurance. Insurance companies can not cap you and give you a lifetime limit to coverage. Preventative screenings are free and paid for by your insurance and birth control is now a right and covered without a copay. I'm sure there's more, but this is all I could come up with off the top of my head.

  16. @roCkerChick says:

    Obviously the writer didn't read the fucking bill nor does she know what she's talking about. It actually makes no sense to say that people who are already getting government sponsored insurance are going to have to pay. Duh they already can't afford health care, they are going to stick with what they have. This is the worst researched opinion based on God knows what article I've ever read. I certainly didn't expect to see it on elephant journal. It's fine to disagree with the law all you want, but at least let it be based on….. I don't know, reality!

  17. @roCkerChick says:

    It's actually not a huge tax increase. there is a $90 penalty and there's no compulsion to pay it. So I am not sure where you think the HUGE tax increase comes in. The SCOTUS simples said that it is a tax. Period. They could not call it constitutional under the commerce clause but because congress has the power (enumerated to them under the constitution) to tax then the bill is constitutional. Your analysis appears to be more deception and lies, like those constantly being spewed on a certain news network. People read! Research! Pay attention! And for gods sake please stop watching Fox News!

  18. HonestOpinion says:

    Wowsers! I'd hate to see how you would react if someone said they didn't like your haircut!

  19. guest says:

    If the opinion above did not agree with Waylon he would have censored it for being rude.

  20. LibertyLover says:

    from Psychology Today…
    If Liberals Are More Intelligent than Conservatives, Why Are Liberals So Stupid? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientifi
    (Hint: Because liberals, while intelligent, lack COMMON SENSE. Incidentally, Liberals have probably never red Common Sense by Thomas Paine and considerate the work of the devil)
    " From my perspective, more intelligent people like liberals are more likely to be “stupid” (lacking common sense), whereas less intelligent people like conservatives are more likely to be “smart.”"

    7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World (AND OBAMACARE) http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/0
    3) Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results. Liberalism is all about appearances, not outcomes. What matters to liberals is how a program makes them FEEL about themselves, not whether it works or not. Thus a program like Headstart, which sounds good because it's designed to help children read, makes liberals feel good about themselves, even though the program doesn't work and wastes billions. A ban on DDT makes liberals feel good about themselves because they're "protecting the environment" even though millions of people have died as a result. For liberals, it's not what a program does in the real world; it's about whether they feel better about themselves for supporting it.

  21. LibertyLover says:

    Just for some perspective, here's the libertarian solution to healthcare. Will probably seem alien to some.

    A Four-Step Health-Care Solution http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=2

    Just to be clear, I'll give liberals Obamacare, if you agree to cut military spending by 30%. Deal?

    Liberals justify Obamacare by saying why not spend money on healthcare when already spend so much on the Military. Libertarians say we can't afford both, so cut military. Then you wouldn't have to force people to buy a product they don't want.

  22. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Excellent point, liberty lover. Someone above said the rest of the industrical world has figured out how to do it, why can't we? Well, the rest of the industrial world isn't playing globocop. You can't police the world and do all the other stuff at the same time, especially with a financial collapse looming (and financial collapse willl be REALLY bad for the health of most people, irrespective of what system we have). But the impossibility of doing both doesn't matter if, as L.L. explains, all that matters to liberals is appearances. You don't need something that works, you just need something that is moral and makes you feel good.

  23. Mark Ledbetter says:

    PS. War is really bad for the health of lots of people, too. Dismantling the American empire and military-industrial complex will end American wars and go a long ways towards solving the looming financial collapse. Then we can realistically talk about govt health care.

  24. @roCkerChick says:

    We force people to have auto insurance. Is not a human life more important than an automobile? I don't see the logic in the argument!

  25. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Isn't auto insurance to make sure you can compensate the other person? Not being a driver or an American resident I'm not sure. But if it is, it's fundamentally different than health insurance. Besides, you don't have to drive, tho our govt built Carworld does make non driving inconvenient.

  26. LibertyLover says:

    We force people to have auto insurance only AFTER they purchase a car. We don't force people to buy cars. That's the point.

  27. LibertyLover says:

    Remember the stanford marshmallow experiment. Lets use this to explain the difference between liberals and libertarians. Tommy is given a choice of having one marshmallow now or if he can wait five minutes, he can have two. Immediately, his liberal mother grabs the marshmallow, rips it in two and distributes it to Tommys sister who's too young to partake in the experiment. She looks right at Tommy and says, "Doesn't it feel good to share."

    A different scenario, Tommy's libertarian father urges him to wait and he does. Then when Tommy has two marshmallows, his father ASKS Tommy if he would like to share one with his sister.

  28. @roCkerChick says:

    The point, that you seem to be missing is that the cost of the insurance it already forced on everyone. If a woman has a baby in a hospital and has no insurance, the cost of that is built into the fees that they charge for medicine, and visits and and and. That is why if you got your medical bill broken down, 1 Tylenol 3 is $75. The point is, affordable health care should be available to everyone period! NO ONE SHOULD DIE OR SUFFER IN PAIN BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE INSURANCE!

  29. jason says:

    most of you fucking idiots have no clue what is even IN THE BILL ITSELF SO YOUR COMMENTS ARE FUCKING POINTLESS AND UN-INFORMED.









  30. Obamacare victim says:

    The Obamacare supporters can can spew rhetoric until their faces turns blue, but the undeniable fact remains that as the first stages of obamacare were put into place, my family's health insurance costs spiked nearly 200%. My family could afford health insurance before Obamacare and now the prices have risen so high that we can no longer afford the premiums. Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to our country in the last decade. These changes benefit no one but insurance companies and their owners and the lawmakers they have bribed. They certainly won't benefit the poor or middle classes of America.

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  32. ModernSerf says:

    This bill, "Obamacare" was years in the making, you don't produce a 2500 page bill overnight like they did. So a "health care crisis" was under way which this bill will fix? But whyy were hospitals building and still are building so many elaborate and new hospitals, spending billions across the country if yhe industry they are in was in a"crisis". That alone tipped me off to the fct this is major inside job. Yes, the babyboomers are coming of age and will require more healthcare, and capital has been realtivelty cheap, but you pour so much in to investments in the future in an industry that is in crisis. I mean the projects I've seen going up around where i live in the last 5 years that are real big, are all hospitals or clinics. REPEAL

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  34. George says:

    Just as a fact, Obama Care is responsible for many people having their hours cut to under 30 per week. I have personally had to drop my family coverage, require my wife to pick up coverage from her employer, and now my company wants us all to move to more affordable "individual plans" since we have seen our insurance costs skyrocket through the roof all (according to the insurance companies) due to Obama Care… As I can make out from the law it will be much cheaper for me to just not have health insurance and pay the additional "Tax". There is absolutely nothing affordable about this affordable health care act. The only way to stop this is to vote out our current congress and vote in people who will change this awful law!!! I don't want govt to subsidize my health care costs, I didn't need a hand out until this bill passed… Now I will be forced to choose coverage I do not want just so I don't go bankrupt!!!

  35. MGPRDA says:

    But Americans voted on Obamacare, which means it was agreed upon with the democracy America is based on. I would also like to point out that with this Healthcare act makes it so people with previous health issues can’t be discriminated upon or rejected by Health insurance companies. This benefits so many people and will save the lives of many. Think twice before calling anyone agreeing with obamacare a moron…