Here’s a good review of the impact of the 2010 healthcare law. I don’t think its going to be a be all end all for American healthcare at all. I’m skeptical of the claims of singe-payer as well. But in its passage, I hope that a national discussion that will last year will produce improvement over the status quo.
The most disappointing thing about the discussion isn’t I don’t see many really comprehensive alternative to the 2010 bill that address the failings of the status quo, and yet the failings of the status quo seem evident. Check out this graphic:
The high cost of health care would be easier to understand if we clearly had the best access and the best health results. Overall we do well in treatment of some conditions, but we don’t have even close to the best life expectancy in world, and many people lack insurance if not access to healthcare.
Setting all that aside, I visited a blog of a severe critic of “Obamacare”, the term of choice of the law’s critics. He has a pretty good chronicle of the numerous criticism of the law: how it was railroaded into law, will ration care, cost to much (I think this emphasized the most), will redistribute wealth, end the development of new treatments, and provide care for conditions that people may have brought on themselves. But in all that criticism, I didn’t really get a feel for any good alternative, especially one that would improve access to care for those who don’t have it. I put this question to the blog author. I’m curious to see what answer I get.
Doesn’t this really boil down to:
Do you think the current health system is in need of a major changes?
Are you in favor of increased access to healthcare for those who don’t have it , even at the cost of higher premiums and taxes for yourself?
You pretty clearly would answer no to these questions.
I think I’d answer yes to both questions (for what its worth I have pretty good medical benefits and I pay taxes). I’m not sure the ACA is what we need, because we need a better way to control costs. I just don’t want to end up like we did after the 1993 health debate which was with basically the status quo. You and most of your citations clearly argue for no “Obamacare” to mostly people who don’t like Barack Obama for a variety of reasons, but I don’t know what you suggest instead.
Can you clarify?
There may be no way to reach anything close to a consensus, because those on different sides of the health debate basically want a different end state as the good society. They make different value judgments.
I’d like to move even if more slowly may than the current law to better access to health care for those who don’t have it, even if some of them are drug addicts, or illegal aliens, or arguably don’t “deserve” it. I don’t think healthcare is a beach house as Rush Limbaugh recently asserted.
The strongest critics of “Obamacare” seem to see health care as just another good you get if you work hard and earn it. This a value judgment that can’t be shown to be wrong or right with facts, but it bothers me that this is usually not explicitly stated. Its hard however to not draw this conclusion from the lack of policy suggestions that address the access issue for those of modest means.
Ultimately we as a society will make its value judgment about who should get access to healthcare. I hope we try to improve on the status quo and not treat health care as a beach house. Unless conservatives can actually suggest a way to improve health care access, one has to assume they think of health care as a beach house.