Tomorrow after a long 18 months, the presidential election process will conclude. I predict it will not be completely resolved until legal issues have been taken care of which delays any progress and divides the country. Regardless of your affiliation we as American’s want immediate answers, so what can we takeaway from the election right now? What happens the day after on November 7th?
Nothing happens. The pundits can analyze public opinion all they want but the fact remains regardless of who wins tomorrow we as a nation face serious financial trouble and it is threatening both our national security and the economic security for future generations. Our leaders have not addressed the fundamental problems yet 95 percent of them running again will likely be re-elected tomorrow. The lack of leadership in Washington is our worst enemy as a nation and here is why.
The country is $16 trillion in debt. This translates to $51,000 per person and counting in this country right now. The biggest driver of this debt comes from a dysfunctional federal government. The United States Congress has not passed a budget or normal appropriations bill in far too long. They decide to punt big problems down the road sometimes only a couple of months at a time. This leads to economic uncertainty because business owners cannot plan ahead or hire new workers. We cannot wait any longer for compromise.
The second problem often ignored is rising healthcare costs. The Affordable Care Act does not adequately address cost containment and the savings if any will not be realized until a decade or so. We need savings now and this nation cannot afford to wait. 10,000 is as number you should remember. First it is the number of people turning 65 every day in this country. This means they are eligible for Medicare. Second, 10,000 is also the number of pages been written thus far by regulators to spell out the healthcare reform law which was highly conceptual in nature.
The bottom line is this. Obamacare is a shot gun approach at reforming a fragmented healthcare delivery system. The true impact for many of us will not be known until the next year or so. This was a political calculation made 3 years ago and several ACA related challenges face this country beginning as early as next year.
State governments will have to wrestle with huge new projects like health insurance exchanges and deciding whether or not to expand Medicaid. These are important issues for business owners and executives need to pay attention to because they are the biggest determinant of whether or not firms with 50 or more employees face penalties. The fiscal cliff is just the beginning and includes a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.
Will there be a mandate one way or another? The bigger question is whether or not anything will change. We need to have a serious conversation about whether or not the status-quo is the answer because things may be the exactly the same and we will resume business as usual inside the beltway.
My predictions are the Republicans retain the House, the Democrats hold the Senate narrowly and President Obama limps across the finish line. Nothing changes.
If our leaders do not we need to execute the necessary changes ourselves and you can do your part by being proactive and learning more about this complex issue because all of us have a vested interest. Arm yourself with knowledge by continuing to visit http://healthreformexplained.com. If it is your first time here and you liked my commentary please consider giving the latest podcast of America’s Healthcare Challenge a listen. It can also be found here.