I’m not really back yet, but soon …

What is exercising me enough to break my silence is this silly government shutdown. The GOP asks why the Dems don’t compromise. It’s simple. They haven’t been offered a compromise.

You protest. I can see why, but your answer is short-sighted. Delaying the ACA a year is like putting it in a coffin, depending the outcome of the next election. A one year delay means that it won’t go into effect until after the next election, and if the GOP have their way, they will repeal it before that happens. The GOP says that it is hurting America. How? It hasn’t taken effect. Well … unless you are counting the good things about it (the rule on pre-existing conditions, allowing children to remain on their parent’s policy until the age of 26). That means it is a failed law, right?

It’s costing Americans more, right? Not yet, and it will probably cost more Americans LESS when it does take effect. Yes, some will pay more. Employers are dropping their health plans.  What? The law requires companies that employ more than 50 to supply health insurance. Those with fewer than 50 probably weren’t supplying it anyway, and if they were, they are just using the ACA as an excuse not to provide benefits. (They are probably Republicans, too.)

Well what about that individual mandate? OK, you are required to have insurance. Frankly, if you don’t you are stupid, and you are ruining it for the rest of us. For insurance to work, there needs to be people who don’t claim. It’s just like car insurance. You don’t need it until you do. I paid into car insurance for 20 years before I had to make a claim. Home insurance, too: 15 years before I made a claim. I’ve probably paid more into insurance than it has saved me. Medical claims, however, can be enormous. Your entire annual premium might equal the cost of a single healthy medical consult. You might only pay $30 for it out of pocket, depending on your deductible. Something more serious could cost you thousands. That’s when you need the insurance. You WILL need it someday.

If you hate having insurance so much, just pay the penalty. It’s probably lower than your premium will be, but then you are paying something for nothing.

But it’s socialism! Really? If you are uninsured, and have an accident, and you can’t pay for your (very expensive) emergency care, who does pay? Charities maybe, the hospital might eat the cost, or more likely, the taxpayer stump up the cash. That’s socialism. We could, of course, just let you die.

So, if you want the Dems to compromise with the GOP, tell the GOP to offer something that can be compromised on. If you do, you might just have your (rather short-sighted) way after the next election.