The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

October 10, 2013

Health coverage experiment is on

Now that President Barack Obama has placed the Affordable Care Act on the plates of every single American, we’ll find out how they like it.

Monday marked the seventh day into the grand social experiment popularly known as Obamacare, President Barack Obama’s proudest and most important legislative achievement whose goal is to ensure that virtually all 300 million-plus Americans have some form of health insurance.

Whether it will be the grand success its supporters predict, the stunning failure expected by its critics or fall somewhere in between won’t be known for weeks, perhaps longer. In the meantime, all Americans will be finding out for themselves what this incredibly ambitious insurance program holds for them as individuals.

Obama has repeatedly promised over the past several years that the primary benefit of Obamacare will be providing health insurance coverage to those who are not, for a variety of reasons, currently covered. He’s suggested that costs will not be a problem because government-provided subsidies will help underwrite insurance costs for lower-income families.

For most people who already have insurance coverage and see no reason to make any alterations in their plan, Obama has suggested, implementation will be a non-event.

If you like your doctor, he has promised, you can keep him. If you like your insurance coverage, Obama pledged, you can keep it. In other words, don’t worry, be happy, because your life will not be affected.

It’s our fondest hope that Obama’s personal pledge becomes reality. But judging from first impressions, it appears there will be winners and losers as this plays out, and the consequences could be dramatic.

It’s no secret that the economy is in a very slow recovery after a brutal recession and that one of the keys to expanding the economy is growth that encourages businesses to expand and hire. If this country is going to achieve the kind of economic recoveries marked by the Reagan and Clinton years, it needs more people working and paying taxes and fewer people collecting welfare and unemployment benefits.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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