– It certainly wasn’t “transparent,” was it?

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The 2010 Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) has been the object of our attention for the last three years. It remains controversial to this day as polls show Americans disapprove of it. Of course, this is what led to the ugly standoff between the House of Representatives and the President. Even early supporters of the legislation, such as unions, realize it suffers from deficiencies and needs to be changed.

The bill was voluminous making it doubtful the Congress knew what they were voting for at the time. As Nancy Pelosi said, who was then Speaker of the House, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” And herein lies the problem. Since it was signed into law, the details have been slowly emerging much to the consternation of the American public; e.g., exemptions for Congress and big business, that it triggered a flood of companies to turn employees into part-time workers, that companies are laying off workers as they cannot afford it, that young people will be faced with escalating policy costs and elect to pay the penalty instead, that the IRS will enforce it (who has also been granted an exemption), and that it is plain and simply bad for the economy. According to a Gallup Poll, almost half of the American people believe the law will make the healthcare situation in the United States worse.

Bottom-line, the American people do not trust the Affordable Care Act as it represents something concocted in a back-room by one party. It was certainly not something considered “transparent” as promised by the president:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”
– President Obama via White House web site

This is hardly what happened with the Affordable Care Act.

This is not how business would devise such a solution. Instead, they would implement a Feasibility Study whereby the current system would be defined, complete with strengths and weaknesses, requirements would be specified, alternatives considered based upon a cost/benefit analysis, and a suitable solution selected. By going through this process, nothing is hidden and everyone understands what is going on. More importantly, it leads to an intelligent business decision. This didn’t happen though, did it?

Some people argue the preparation of a Feasibility Study would have been too laborious and time consuming. Maybe, but when you consider the chaos we are currently embroiled in, a Feasibility Study would have made a lot more sense than the way the Affordable Care Act was drafted and implemented.

The fact remains, we enacted a law that looks like it will do more damage than good. So, what should we do, throw the baby out with the bathwater? Hardly. We have learned a lot from this exercise already, but I would still delay or repeal it until such time as we do a proper Feasibility Study.

Years ago, when I served as a baseball umpire, I learned the importance of getting the call right. As much as I didn’t want to back down from a call, I had to do what was best for the game. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do this too often, but I did have occasion where I had to swallow my pride and reverse my decision. I had to do this for the kids. Now we have to do it for the country.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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