Recently Donald Trump stated, "Who knew healthcare could be so complicated." Democrats and most everyone else laughed and made fun of him. Healthcare for the US is actually not that complicated.
The US is the last major industrialized nation without universal healthcare. All the heavy lifting on how to implement an affordable universal system has been accomplished by the rest of the world. Even in the US around 40% of the population is already covered by a government-run or a single-payer healthcare system in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, The Veterans Administration, Defense Department, Tri-care, etc.
People going on Medicare for the first time love it. Tri-care, a combination of Medicare and government-provided supplemental insurance may be the most flexible and generous. The VA, a total government operated medical service, is perhaps the least expensive and the most beloved by the veterans who actually use it.
The Donald Going To The Darkside
Even Donald Trump has supported a single payer healthcare system in the past. When he was "The Donald" he got it right but now that he has gone over to the Republican darkside, he gets it wrong and makes it complicated.
While President Obama and the Democrats passed the The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, they didn't design the legislation. The ACA is strictly a Republican-designed system, created to fleece the American taxpayer and create a system of transferring wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. Its roots were in "Tricky Dicky" Nixon's presidency and later picked up by the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation and finally implemented in Massachusetts by a Republican governor. Was it the best the Democrats could do? I seriously doubt it. What they lacked was Republican chutzpah.
When it came time for Democrats to write the legislation, the popular public option was left out as President Obama blinked when the then ex-democrat senator Joe Lieberman, nickname Loserman in the 2000 presidential race by Republicans, threatened to veto the bill and became Loserman for all Americans.
US Has The Most Expensive and Inefficient Healthcare
The US pays far more for healthcare than any other country. Most counties spend close to 11% of GDP while the US pays a whopping 17%. But the US has the best healthcare for that kind of money right? Not so fast. The US only ranks 37th in overall efficiency according to the World Health Organization.
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The US has the next to longest wait time to see a primary care doctor. Only Canada ranks slightly lower and it has a serious disadvantage compared to the US because Canada has only a 35 million population occupying a geographical area larger than the US. It's a daunting task to cover everybody scattered across Canada. We on the other hand are so corrupt we won't even try.
The actual health of Americans is falling according to most metrics in comparison to other countries, even though many people now have insurance coverage with the ACA. It has clearly made a difference to many millions of now covered folks but much of the "for profit" American healthcare system remains an out of control boondoggle with soaring costs, inefficient administration, and gross income inequalities and results.
The Republican Party Is About Profits Not Health
Every time Republicans come to power they drill holes to siphon money from the middle class. In Medicare they inserted the Medicare Advantage, private insurance option. Medicare itself reimburses companies at a premium to fund this. Medicare part D, the drug benefit provision, prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices as the rest of the government is allowed to do.
Obamacare itself is generous to insurance companies. It even guaranteed profitability until Republicans pulled the rug out from under them so as to make Obamacare look bad for the election. All these holes drilled are simply for inserting giant straws to suck dollars, lots of dollars, out of the US treasury.
The US wastes about $1 trillion a year based on what other countries spend for a more efficient system that gives better results. Why? All this exists simply because the Democrats, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, haven't put forth a progressive, simple, efficient, cost-effective healthcare plan for the American voter to choose. Like I have always said: It takes a Democrat to pass Republican legislation. When oh when are they going to pass their own?
About the Author
Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
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