Locally 2014 looks like a positive year for the economy, as evidenced by the amount of new construction being recorded by the El Dorado Irrigation District. Nationally, the economy was due to continue its plodding, incremental improvement. But not so much anymore. Dr. Jekyl will be in charge of the local economy, so long as the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors doesn’t screw it up.
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But on the national scene it appears the evil Mr. Hyde will dominate. We’re talking Obamacare here, folks. With some 15 million people being kicked off the health insurance plans they like and being forced on government-ordered plans that will cost them twice as much, the national economic future looks dim. Once these 15 million who had individual plans are forced onto plans that cost twice as much or more, that big sucking sound will be money going to health insurance instead of the consumer economy.
When Obamacare diminishes the personal spending power of these 15 million people who bought insurance for their families on the individual market, the economy could shrink. It is not just the 15 million, but everyone insured through their job is going to face higher health insurance costs as all the requirements by the federal government begin coursing though the country. Obamacare will bring about a recession; if we’re lucky it will just result in GDP growth of under 1 percent.
Besides the economic havoc Obamacare will wreak on this country, there is a continuing shortage of new doctors.
Last year there were 1,761 medical students who passed all the preclinical, clinical and two national licensing exams to become medical doctors, but weren’t accepted into a residence training program.
“And now the White House wants to set aside even less money for doctor training while reorganizing the nation’s insurance market,” Atul Nakhasi wrote in the Oct. 31 Wall Street Journal. “And at a time when the new health care law is expected to create a demand for more physicians, a proposed $11 billion budget cut over the next 10 years guarantee there will be fewer doctors.”
In fact, the number of doctor training slots supported by the federal government has remained unchanged since 1997. The American Medical Association in 2010 reported the country was short 16,000 doctors and that will quadruple over the next two years.
Obamacare is a bloated, high-cost insurance plan being forced on the American people by their government along with a doctor shortage. That combination is heading us straight for the medical-care rationing. Medical rationing and the economic doldrums. We’ll all feel like we’re living through the Rime of the Ancient Mariner — “As idle as a painted ship, Upon a painted ocean.”