NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 6, 2013

Kicking the healthcare can down the road

Bill Plante

Big Freddy was sweltering when he joined me mid-morning, and I told him I really hadn’t expected he would show up because of the heat.

“Air conditioner gave up the ghost, and I’m switching to iced coffee,” he said.

“Temporary relief, but I’ll take it,” I said.

“So has Obama, “ Freddy said as he opened his morning newspaper.

“I read that,” I said. “ They’re delaying the health care mandate for employers another year.”

“Beautiful timing, with as much cover as cover can be,” Freddy said.

“The Fourth of July?’’ I asked.

“That and the weather,” Freddy said. “Storms everywhere? Floods or fires, and on the day before the Fourth? Other things on our minds.”

“I’ve been reading Patrick says the feds won’t grant wavers to states like ours that have there own health care laws,” I said.

“We’re ahead of the fed’s and tinkering with the details to bring it in line with Obama Care,” Freddy said.

“Trying to, but the feds have the upper hand,” I said.

“By the time they get through with this, that, and the whatever down there, we’re going to wind up with less of what we have and more of something else that’s not going down well with businesses,” Freddy said.

“So they’re kicking the can down the road?” I said.

“Don’t knock it,” Freddy said. “Something this big with what’s at stake three years from now? You’d better get what your doing right, and what getting the health care law right for both parties is winning or losing, and by how much in 2016.

“Look. Costs are going to go up. No way of stopping that. Patrick’s trying to get wavers on regs he says will drive them. Good luck for that, but don’t hold your breath. Feds say no, costs go up, but - Hey, he tried.

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