With many government programs, the transition from theory to implementation is a difficult one that is complicated by a vast amount of realities that where not considered when the program was being developed. Health Care Reform, commonly referred to as ObamaCare is proving to be no different as implementation begins in a few days of the high risk pool program that is designed to act as a temporary solution as we transition from the system that is currently in place to what was mandated by the Health Care Reform package that was passed by Congress. As part of the Health Care Reform package, this high risk pool was funded with $5 billion. However as is pointed out by Julian Pecquet in her article on The Hill (http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/106887-health-law-risks-turning-away-sick) yesterday before this program even has any participants, it is being predicted that it is underfunded, and will run shout of cash long before it is scheduled to end in 2014.
How could this possibly be? What has changed since the passing of the bill that could cause this portion of the bill to be underfunded? The only thing that has changed is the passing of the bill. When this bill was authored, everything was underfunded and the cost of various programs was under reported. This was a highly political issue, and although the Democrats held a majority in both the House and the Senate, the American public slowly turned against the notion of nationalized health care as they began to understand and realize the costs and workings of the program as proposed. In an effort to reduce some of the sticker shock of the price tag of this new entitlement program, many of it’s components where underfunded. Expect to see this scenario repeat itself as more and more parts of this massive program come on line.
What is most interesting about this revelation of a possible shortage of funding however is how the Obama Administration intends to deal with this scenario when it arrives. As is noted in Julian Pecquet’s article, the Obama Administration has not ruled out the possibility of denying access to this high risk insurance pool to people with pre-existing conditions. This is one of the so called problems with market driving private insurance and why the administration claimed the need to institute national health care in the first place. We have now taken over much of the health care industry and nationalized it and are facing the same problems that were present when it was controlled by the free market. With our debt continuing to spiral out of control, what is it exactly that we have accomplished that is for the benefit of our great nation? The only question that remains is how will the government deal with the situation when it arrives? Will people be turned away from the program despite of the initial promises, or will be program be funded by alternate means and most likely add to the national debt and simply push the burden onward to future generations?