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article imageOp-Ed: Branding error may save Obamacare

By Robert Weller     Oct 21, 2013 in Politics
Many a good product has died on the vine in the U.S. because of branding errors.
Obamacare may be one that is saved because its Tea Party critics aren’t calling it what it is: “socialized medicine.”
Now that the effort to defund Obamacare has failed, attention is focused on failures in the software. Again, this takes attention from a development as breathtaking as the creation of Social Security 75 years ago. President Franklin Roosevelt faced criticism as nasty as Obama is facing now.
The relentless criticism of the problems in the first weeks Obamacare started led President Obama to defend it Monday.
“We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a Web site. That’s not what this was about,” Obama said.
“It’s time for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hard-working, middle-class families are rooting for its success,” he said.
The criticism ignores the problems faced by Windows and even Apple users. Under Steve Jobs, Apple set up “genius bars” in stores throughout the nation. One-on-one sessions are possible.
Imagine “Obamacare” bars for the 48 million uninsured Americans who could theoretically seek it.
Some would say Obamacare cannot be remotely linked to socialized medicine because it depends on private insurers. But it is the first step in socialized medicine, even if only a timid one.
Creation of the system depends largely on private contractors who have written software needed to make the sites work. Federal workers were not responsible for the problems in the past month. The Government Accountability Office said $394 million was paid to set up the sites.
Whether Obamacare is socialized medicine will be the subject of arguments that are unlikely to end soon. Many still criticize Social Security, calling it an “entitlement.” The word came from the fact people were entitled to it because they funded it from their paychecks. Now it is a dirty word.
Cost is the big question. A report from the National Institute of Health says socialized medicine would bring down costs, because so many expenses, like billing, marketing costs, malpractice insurance would be cut or eliminated.
The debate is over whether some people might have to wait for specialized treatment is lost on those people who have no treatment at all.
Private medicine co-exists with public care in European nations, and patients can pay to get private care if they choose.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Socialized medicine, Obamacare, Tea party, Social security, Ted Cruz
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