Obamacare rollout has been a real disaster

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Column: Guest Column, by Jim Hagedorn

The Obamacare rollout has begun and the early results are less than exemplary. I will not mince words: Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster.

The well-documented bureaucratic bungling and serious implementation problems currently embarrassing the Obama administration and frustrating the American people represent are just the tip of the Obamacare iceberg.

Jim Hagedorn

Jim Hagedorn

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Minnesota’s families, employees and businesses are taking note of the new health care law. As I crisscross the 1st District and talk with people of varied political viewpoints, most southern Minnesotans are upset that they are being forced to pay dramatically higher health insurance premiums and deductibles — or that their current health insurance policies are being canceled outright.

In my view, Obamacare represents Washington, D.C.-based control over our medical care system and, ultimately, our lives. I consider Obamacare as toxic, the equivalent of a cancer that has been injected into the medical care system and something that must be eradicated. I strongly oppose Obamacare, and if elected to Congress I will fight to the political death to repeal the bill and replace it with free-market reforms.

Free-market reforms are the best way to create insurance competition, drive down the cost of health care and sustain our nation’s highest-quality medical care and medical technology. Such reforms will also empower individuals with the personal liberty and freedom to live life without the federal government acting as financial provider and nanny.

The free-market reforms I will fight for in the Congress include:

• Health insurance competition across state lines to increase choice and drive down costs.

• High-risk pools to protect people with serious illness/pre-existing conditions.

• Extending health insurance tax benefits to individuals to create “portable” benefits that follow from job-to-job or during times of unemployment.

• Expanded application of health savings accounts to empower consumers to shop for medical care and control costs, roll over and save health care dollars and expand the use of catastrophic insurance policies.

• Tort reform to curtail defensive medicine and drive down costs associated with frivolous lawsuits.

I am concerned that full implementation of Obamacare stands to undermine centers of medical excellence, such as Rochester’s renowned Mayo Clinic. The act will underfund and thereby ration and “dumb down” U.S. medical care, problems that will especially and negatively impact upper echelon medical institutions. From my perspective, Obamacare poses a direct threat to patients and those whose livelihoods depend on the success of Mayo and similar medical institutions.

As Obamacare failures continue to build, the administration, liberal sympathizers in Congress and even a few misguided Republicans will implore for Obamacare to be fixed on the fly. I reject such nonsense, as the Obamacare approach of centralized Washington control over our medical care system is fatally flawed.

Besides, the Obamacare statute, conforming bills and regulations number in the tens of thousands of pages and multi-millions of words. Regulations are still being issued, so almost four years after the bill’s enactment, we do not understand the full scope of this legislation. How do you amend or tinker with such a monstrosity?

My forward-looking position on health care reform provides voters with a clear contrast to incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Walz, who voted for Obamacare and intransigently supports the bill’s full implementation.

Instead of protecting the country and southern Minnesotans, Tim Walz voted for a big government program that is making us less affluent and vulnerable to federal power and bureaucratic meddling. More than three years after Congressman Walz followed the direct command of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “pass the bill (Obamacare) in order to find out what is in the bill,” the people of southern Minnesota are figuring out that Tim Walz has literally stuck them with the bill (higher health insurance costs).

I will always defend the United States and the American people, especially southern Minnesotans. One of my first acts as a member of Congress will be to join like-minded Republicans and Democrats to repeal Obamacare and enact free-market reforms.


Jim Hagedorn is a Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 1st District.