Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Sunday, 09 July 2017 15:08

The Real Problem with Health Care

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During all the talk about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, one rarely hears about the root cause of all the problems, ever increasing health care costs; nor the solution – an improved and expanded Medicare-for-All (single-payer) system.  Journalist Steven Brill has written extensively about the health care industry and has pointed out that with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the choice was made to focus on getting more people covered by insurance rather than focus on controlling costs.  While the rate of increase in health care costs has slowed slightly (as anticipated) due to the ACA, health care costs just keep rising.

We don’t even have to look at charts on health care spending or World Bank data to know that our health care costs are absurd.  We can look at our bills for medical care. Or dental.  Or vision.

It’s impossible for an unregulated, competitive, market-based health care industry to minimize costs.  As Steven Brill put it, it’s a “marketplace” you’re forced into.  Being sick should not be a commodity you can profit from.  Brill writes that it’s the pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and health care facility administration that are the main cost drivers, with insurance being a secondary factor.  Our health care system breeds bureaucracy and leads to a shocking waste of resources, because every bit of waste is money in somebody’s pocket. 

Here’s a quick list of troubles with our health care system, in no particular order:

  • Price gouging/patent manipulation for profit
  • Bureaucratic and complex
  • Burden on business/employers
  • Wasteful of resources
  • Drag on our economy
  • Loss of productivity (sick people can’t work)
  • Personal bankruptcies from medical bills (even for those that have insurance)
  • No freedom to change jobs (fear of losing insurance)
  • Millions of people can’t afford medical/dental/vision/mental health care
  • Most expensive with worse health outcomes

There’s a reason all other developed countries have a universal health care system.  That’s because it’s the most efficient, cost-effective way to deliver health care.  We need to stop talking about health insurance and start talking about people being able to afford medical care using an efficient, cost-effective system. 

The Space Coast Progressive Alliance endorses the Physicians for a National Health Program proposal for a single payer system.  Read about it at their website PNHP.org.

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Kathy Freeman is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local,regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

Last modified on Monday, 17 July 2017 21:05
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