How to Pay for Obamacare
Healthcare is a problem—a five trillion dollar per year problem. It's been a problem for decades. So you would think the fixers of everything, conservatives, would be addressing that problem. All they have to say about it is that Obama got it wrong. People have to decide for themselves how to straighten out that five trillion dollar problem when Obama is gone.
Supposedly, it's only a three trillion dollar problem. That's after the whittling and rationalizing. There is a huge cost for the elderly that someone has to pay for regardless of what it is called. That total was increasing at 20% per year before the great recession of 2008. That means it was doubling every five years. It's now increasing very little due to Obamacare.
Even though the government is not responsible for the whole five trillion dollars, the huge cost of it all sucks money out of society making it less available for other purposes including the health care expenses which the government tries to manage.
Conservatives are planning to give back taxes for the rich and corporations, which means less money available for solving such problems as health care. One of the pillars of conservative politics is that the rich to do not owe anyone anything and do not need to pay taxes for services which they do not need. The error is in assuming how the rich got that way. They got that way by exploiting everyone else including the government which solves their problems and made them rich. Allowing the rich to syphon off the resources of society and making the lower classes pay for everything is a foundational fraud of conservatives.
Americans pay more and get worse health than most affluent countries. The reason is waste, fraud and abuse. A small percent of it is real medicine. Part of the reason is total overkill in making sure no stone is unturned in delivering the best medicine possible. No one can say where to draw the line. It becomes a disaster when anyone tries, as occurred a few years ago, when Congress was accused of genocide in trying to draw such a line. But drawing a cutoff line isn't the only way to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. The first requirement is honest science followed by openness and accountability all the way along the line of producing health care.
The medical establishment started the process of refinancing health care in the mid nineties turning to Hillary Clinton to oversee it. The resulting disaster was stopped in its tracks by a livid Congress which was being left out of the process. So the medical establishment set up trial procedures in California and Massachusetts. The trials were failures due to the cost of health care increasing faster than the funding could keep up. But supposedly, if the federal government got involved, resources could stay ahead of the costs. So the medical establishment took the plan to Obama and Congress and wrote up a plan for paying for part of it.
There are about five avenues through which funding is extracted. Employers often buy health insurance for employees. Other persons buy their own health insurance. Everyone pays something out of pocket through deductibles or uninsured health care. The government pays for some of it through Medicare and Medicaid.
Re-arranging the proportions is not going to reduce the cost. Almost no one can afford the results, and re-arranging the plan could only shift the cost from one person to another. Who is supposed to get soaked when someone else pays less? No one is telling us who is supposed to pay more when someone else pays less?
December 12, 2016