Republicans are fond of saying that "The US has the best health care in the world," which is true. What they fail to add is, "...if you can afford it." 

Many people have poor health care or none at all. And many of those who have none at all are NOT unemployed. They simply can't afford the premiums or they have what are called pre-existing conditions. 

Ten percent of the population account for 60% of health care costs, and many of those people who go to the ER for their health care once their condition has gotten totally out of control. Not only are millions of people left with the ER as their health coverage, which is incredibly expensive, but the current system isn't designed to lower costs. Quite the opposite. In most states, one or two companies have 80% of the business and are not under much pressure to keep costs low, because most people don't really shop for their health care. And with only one or two real choices, most companies don't, either, especially now that more and more companies are asking their employees to pick up more of the tab.

Obamacare makes several important changes designed to reduce costs. First, it moves to make payouts based on outcomes rather than pay-per-procedure. Secondly, it brings many of those left-out people into Medicare, which is costly. However, it's based on the well-established idea that catching health issues early and treating them relatively cheaply saves a lot of money later on.

Here's an example: someone has type II diabetes in his mid-sixties and takes two forms of insulin (one quick-acting taken at mealtime and one slow-acting and constantly in the background). The quick-acting insulin costs $500/mo and the other one $600/mo in round terms). The patient, who is already struggling to live on Social Security by living without many things and by making a lot of compromises when it comes to healthy food has Medicare Part B and pays only about 1% of those costs.

Suppose, though, that his condition had been diagnosed early enough to prevent it, when he was in his 30's or 40's. Even if he did get diabetes but it was treatable with some daily pills costing $20-$50/mo, I think you can see the wisdom of this approach.

There's a glimpse at the upside. What's the downside?

Tags: ACA, Act, Affordable, Healthcare, Obamacare

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It's like unblocking a dam. When the Hoover Dam was first opened, they had to run every single generator on full, and blew out several substations throughout the Nevada and Utah power grids. It leveled out once the water level normalized.

If blowing of systems occurred then the management of the power generation system was botched. (Power Engineer)

Canadian health care is a form of socialized medicine managed by each province. Each has a board of experts whom are charged with approving treatments and medications covered under the plan. The theory is that less effective means are discouraged in favor of more viable ones. Of course, every person phoning into a radio talk show knows far more about medicine than do the experts......

We have had "socialized medicine" for decades and are still struggling so it is to be expected that the US will have bigger difficulties in implementing a system today. Hopefully things will settle down over time if there is some agreement as to principles/outcomes desired. Otherwise it will continue to be a feces slinging exercise. Demonizing this with whom one is in disagreement is seldom constructive either.

We are moving some components of our medicare to private providers in order to reduce costs and that seems to benefit some areas. It is to be seen how and where these initiatives will develop but things are not black and white. Much of the opposition to moving to private providers is from those whom have vested interests in maintaining the public structure. What needs be is what provides the best balance of cost to benefit and not some dogmatic struggle....I apologize for the naiveté.....

 

@Pope Shouldy(?)

Ah but think of all the well-paying nursing jobs, nusing assistant jobs, physician assistant jobs, and support jobs it will create. The problems will be front-loaded and, as you predict, should settle down as time goes by.

wrt medical assistant jobs... i'm almost there! just got home from a Diseases class.

Shouldy, as in proclaimer of shoulds and shouldn'ts, that's all.

Dear Richard Branson,

Please consider buying another island or two, for the purpose of providing advanced medical care to people with big money. One island should be large enough for an airport, of course.

Ask Bill Gates to get in with you on advanced research. If the rest of the world gets lucky, they could also benefit from downstream products and technologies.

Please give me a call if you need any more ideas!

Pope Shouldy.

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