Analyst Douglas Schoen: Obamacare Needs a 'Timeout'

Image: Analyst Douglas Schoen: Obamacare Needs a 'Timeout'

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 03:56 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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Respected pollster and political analyst Douglas Schoen is urging the president to take a "timeout" from Obamacare for up to year to fix the trouble-plagued website and overhaul the law itself.

"America"s healthcare system isn't something that can be pieced together on an ad-hoc basis amidst failing websites, party infighting, bickering insurers and a confused American public," Schoen writes in a editorial.

Schoen takes to task the Affordable Care Act's "policy and mechanics," referring to the technically deficient website, the millions of individual policy cancellations and other unanticipated issues wreaking havoc on insurers and consumers.

A "timeout" of six months to a year would allow the administration to begin cleaning up the bureaucratic mess created by the president’s signature legislation, he said.

"It is critical that the administration takes my words to heart; that they take a break from on-the-go fixes and spend some serious time reflecting on what's best for the American people," Schoen says, clarifying that he favors universal healthcare for Americans but not in its current form.

Obama should consider allowing for the interstate purchase of health insurance, Schoen suggests, as well as create incentives such as flexible spending accounts and health savings plans. The one-size-fits-all application process should be scrapped for something more customizable.

"In the private sector, no savvy company would approach consumers that way," he chides. "Indeed, the government needs to start thinking of Americans as consumers of health insurance, not just applicants."

Schoen makes clear that he doesn't suggest the delay so partisan politicians can renew their bid to repeal the law. Rather, Obama should yield to the public outcry and take the break to show he's "in step with the national mood and that he understands the concerns of the electorate and his Congress."

"I am suggesting a delay so we can get it right, so that we can fix the ACA. So the president's dream to deliver affordable healthcare to each and every American can be realized. So that America can actually provide the best healthcare delivery system in the world, which it clearly does not do today and hasn't since inception."

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