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Wineke: The good old days of health care

Published On: Nov 20 2013 03:15:45 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 20 2013 03:18:05 PM CST

While the world has gone nuts proclaiming ObamaCare to be a failure, I’ve been watching the current system of health insurance at work.

I have two good friends, both Republicans I think, who were scheduled to have major joint replacement operations.

Each of them has insurance -- not ObamaCare but regular health insurance -- and each was forced to cancel the operation at the last minute because they had no guarantee their insurance companies would actually pay for it -- or what they would have to pay out-of-pocket in addition to insurance payments.

These are not the uninsured people we think of when we think of the Affordable Care Act. They are not people whose insurance has been cancelled. But they are symbols that the current system, which proponents call the “best health care system on earth,” has big problems.

We tend to forget that there is a reason why the ACA was passed by Congress and why, despite all the rhetoric, it is not going to be repealed.

The current system works best if you don’t get sick.

I worked for more than four decades in the private sector, and I had pretty good health insurance. Every couple of years, however, my company changed insurers. We started out with one comprehensive plan. We switched to an HMO. We became self-insured. We went with another plan. It was just a matter of trying to find good insurance at a price we could afford to pay that would cover all our employees. Our human resources department worked tirelessly to find that insurance. The cost went up every year. Sometimes it went up by double digits.

That sort of thing still happens, except today, the companies blame ObamaCare.

In the meantime, those who would destroy the Obama presidency are also working overtime to sabotage the law. Some public policy groups are spending millions of dollars -- money contributed by billionaires who don’t need health insurance -- to try to convince people they should refuse to sign up for health insurance, that they can do just fine without it.

This is, of course, immoral. One bicycle accident, one kidney stone, one broken ankle can end up costing thousands of dollars. Young people need insurance.

The fact is that they will soon be able to purchase insurance at a reasonable cost. No one is going to stop that.

The website hasn’t worked as well as it should, but it‘s not the end of the world. It will be fixed.

A year from now, Obama’s critics will just be fixated on some new scandal. They won’t miss a beat. And they won’t apologize for trying to deprive millions of people from health security.