Health ReformMedical EducationPolicy & LawPublic Health

How Is President Obama Doing on His Campaign Promises?

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Summary: What promises were made during the Presidential campaigns? Which promises are falling by the waste side?affordable care act

Summary: What promises were made during the Presidential campaigns? Which promises are falling by the waste side?affordable care act

The thing about campaign promises are many of them are empty promises – promises either have no intention of being filled or are not able to be filled due to unforeseen circumstances. Sorting these situations out can be a daunting task. But in the end, does it really matter? The bottom line is the promises go unfulfilled. To fulfill one promise may mean breaking yet another.

Let’s start with healthcare affordability, one of the pillars of The Affordable Care Act “ACA”. The goal was to provide more affordable health insurance to more Americans. Everything that has come out recently regarding the health insurance exchanges points to a significant increase in premiums. Increases in premiums will cause more Americans to be uninsured, not fewer. Additionally, you will be spending more to receive less. A higher premium price tag also equates to higher deductibles and higher out of pocket limits.

How about the national deficit which is now in the trillions? Promises were made to cut back spending and without affecting programs such as Social Security. It seems now that cost of living will be affected negatively.

Let’s talk about the sequestration for just a moment. It was supposed to be an across the board spending cut. Medicaid was supposed to be exempt from the cuts, but certain Medicaid indices are tied to Medicare rates that were part of the sequestration. So, perhaps Medicaid wasn’t directly affected but it was certainly indirectly impacted. Some of these broken promises are masked or hidden to the extent that it isn’t apparent to the average American. Keep in mind that programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security were not supposed to be affected.

Tax increases were originally promised for primarily the wealthier Americans – singles earning in excess of $200,000 and families earning in obamacareexcess of $250,000. The income levels which were affected were singles earning in excess of $400,000 and families in excess of $450,000. It now appears that other levels of income will be affected with tax hikes as inflation measures are being examined.  Undoubtedly, tax increases are coming which will affect most if not all Americans either directly or indirectly.

A promise was made to create over 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016. If the current pace continues, we will have created fewer than 500,000 manufacturing jobs. This one I think was more of an exaggeration than anything. When making a promise, it is more powerful to use a “1 million” number rather than a mere half a million. Nonetheless, it is another promise that will in all probability go unfulfilled.

How about education? Promises were made to increase graduation rates for both high school and college. However, one of the areas cut through the sequestration was education and funding to teaching hospitals and medical schools. How do you promote education and cut funding at the same time?

The campaign process is a game. Tell the people what they want to hear and not necessarily that which is possible to deliver. Times do change, the economy changes, and unforeseen issues do arise which require additional assistance from the government such as Hurricane Sandy and the bombing in Boston. This is when we need the government to roll up their shirt sleeves and assist in any way possible. The government has done a great job in states of emergency such as these.  There are funds set aside for these emergencies and natural disasters.

Wouldn’t it be nice in any political campaign to be honest and set forth measurable and attainable goals and then set courses of action to attain? It would provide a feeling of trust and loyalty and unity among Americans.

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