Will Obamacare destroy America and unleash long lines, death panels, IRS oppression and rationing? Or will it usher in the promised utopia of universal medical care and blessings of liberty and equality as espoused by Thomas Jefferson?
If IBM's recent announcement - that it will move some of its retirees from company sponsored medical plans to private insurance exchanges - is any indication, Obamacare is all set to steamroll over all opposition, and dominate the way America accesses medical care.
Apparently, IBM's deep pockets were not enough to match the rapid price inflation including health care costs since the 1971 destruction of Bretton Woods system and the final dissolution of international Gold Standard.
Succumbing to ruthless cost cutting pressures in the face of merciless drive to boost shareholder value, company sponsored medical plans were immediately put on the chopping block forcing helpless retirees to scurry for an alternative.
Obamacare proponents might argue that IBM did not force US retirees to wait for or enroll in Washington DC controlled health exchanges. IBM allowed the retirees to use Extend Health, which is owned by Towers Watson & Co, a private company, to choose new options for medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage.
This may seem like a valid explanation on first glance, but did Obamacare succeed in massively cutting costs so that insurance premiums become more affordable and accessible for the haves as well as the have nots?
As the IBM debacle shows, medical care inflation is still horrendous. While the jury is still out, primarily because Washington DC controlled insurance exchanges are not fully up and running yet, one thing is certain. As private sector sheds more workers from company sponsored medical plans, the power of large private exchanges as well as exchanges under direct command of Washington DC will grow by leaps and bounds.
This is all the more evident since the 50 States do not get to decide monetary policy and the printing of the US dollar. Washington DC does.
In other words, the future is big, the future is centralized, the future is more IRS, not less IRS. So will the IRS put the fear of God in every American employee and employer that defies Obamacare and rejects Washington DC controlled exchanges, individual mandate and private exchange behemoths? You bet.
As for the tea party and GOP, will they continue their crusade against Obamacare or will they eventually surrender to IRS and the power of the Federal government? As large private and Washington DC controlled exchanges rapidly spread their tentacles, the answer increasingly points to affirmative.
It is the perfect marriage of big government and big business.[images from CATO, under creative commons, IBM's official twitter account, google and flickr]