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ObamaCare fails to fulfill its purpose

Mr. Parker’s presentation would be more persuasive if only the “Affordable Health Care for America Act” actually had the potential to deliver quality healthcare to low-income Americans.

The best our leadership has been able to do so far is to simply add millions of low-income families to Medicaid.

And then to substantially reduce the reimbursement rates for both Medicaid and Medicare.

Both plans are being refused by an ever-increasing number of providers. Not much of a step forward.

Hard to accept the premise that people who are opposed to “The Affordable Health Care for America Act” simply want to deny healthcare for the poor.

More than likely, their objections are rooted in a well-founded belief that the government does not run things very well – especially big things. The Act itself is a classic example.

The stated goal was to provide healthcare to the uninsured and lower cost. More than 2,000 pages of legislation were produced. Tons of regulations will follow.

And when it is all finished, there will still be Americans without healthcare coverage. And the government will be in control of everything to include, price controls, healthcare rationing, and even contraception.

Why not start over with a blank sheet of paper? Start with a clear and simple definition of the problem to be solved, i.e., provide quality healthcare coverage to low-income Americans.

And then design a system that looks to the market place for solutions instead of the government bureaucracy.

In other words, focus on solving the problem at hand instead of trying to seize control of the entire system.

Don’t think this is an unreasonable suggestion from a Christian who would really like low-income Americans to have both affordable and quality healthcare.

Just don’t think the government can do it with the “Affordable Health Care for America Act” (what an incredible misnomer!).

The real risk with “The Affordable Health Care for America Act” is that it will take our nation even closer to bankruptcy without solving the basic problem. This is true in part because the act went far further afield than was necessary to deal with the basic issue.

History shows that the harder the government has tried to control parts of the healthcare system, the worse it has become.

Ed Strong

Peachtree City, Ga.



Totally agree that the Affordable Health Care for America Act misses ist mark in many ways because it is full of "pork" and overcomplicated however the issue of halthcare needs to be addressed because many Americans, not just the poor are being denied quality care.

Currently we have a health insurance system soaking the profits out of our healthcare system. The impact is being felt by small business owners and individuals with pre-existing conditions, not only the poor. Anyone who has personal individual health insurance plans, not covered under a corporation, knows that rates are increases while healthcare services are being cut. Most plans have increase 8% to 12% a year while services have been stripped away with large deductibles. These policies are now only major hospitalization plans.

What many Americans fear which is interference with your doctor relationship and "death panels" already exists. Higher premiums, reduce services in your policy reflects limitation in health care. Insurance company medical boards are already determining if client/patients can have experimental treatments or selected life saving surgeries.

Next time you speak to your insurer, ask them what their loss ratio is - that is the difference between what they receive in revenues compared to what they pay out in health care services. Interesting that they view paying your actual health care invoices as a "loss".

Healthcare costs continue to spiral out of control as more people can't afford coverage using emergecy rooms as their health clinics. The result is we are all paying more as people who can no longer afford high premiums need healthcare. As you know hospitals can not deny anyone who walks in which is the right thing to do.

What is the real solution?

NUK_1's picture

Looking at how Switzerland and Singapore do it is a great starting point considering how well they have managed to shift health care to individuals instead of government or insurance company middleman, and both countries rank high in quality of health care.

Paul Ryan is also on the right path with means-testing for Medicare/Medicaid and to stop forcing those who are already covered by private health coverage to use Medicare instead. That makes no sense.

Stopping the tax breaks and other incentives to employers and instead directing them towards individuals(as well as subsidizing those with low incomes pre-existing conditions) on private insurance plans is another starting point.

Forget state's BS and over-regulation and allow insurers to sell all plans to all states. Yeah, this would wreck the Blue Cross/Blue Shield franchises all across the US, but it could be phased-in.

kcchiefandy's picture

How, generally, do they operate their healthcare? Btw, what's the total population of Switzerland and Singapore combined? Their GNP? Their doctor-to-patient ratio? What is their expected lifespan? Do they have the obesity and/or diabetes problems that we have? I'm wondering if their system(s) would work as well with 50 fracitous states & 1 grossly enlarged Federal gov't?

NUK_1's picture

They are single-payer systems with both national(required) and private(optional) plans. The insurance companies make their money on coverages outside the mandated coverage that they must provide at their cost to individuals. There are no subsidies or tax breaks given to employers and they aren't in the equation.

Yes, people in both countries have longer life expectancy and far less obesity than the US and one is a heavily homogenous culture and the other pretty close to that itself. Not everything in their models would work in the US, but there needs to be a starting point and both these countries have better health care at a cheaper cost than almost all of the other Euro and heavily socialized models like Great Britain.

How would it work in 50 different states? Take away the states' ability to regulate health insurance would be my starting point, something I wish had been done a long time ago. That factor has driven costs through the roof and is one of the best(worst) cases of crony capitalism and waste out there.

kcchiefandy's picture handing control of such a large program over to our Federal gov't. The single-payer system might be a future option now that the SCOTUS has shackled us with mandatory coverage. Comparatively, it sounds the same as nationalizing the oil companies, removing state gas taxes, and letting the Feds handle production & rates. It's a scary concept to hand such reigns to our Federal gov't, given its track record with managing such massive programs.

Good info, though; thanks.

NUK_1's picture actually reduces government involvement, even the Federal. It greatly simplifies the role of the government by having one plan with certain requirements and then private insurance can offer whatever supplementals they want to and sell that on the marketplace in any state. Instead of the government dishing out tax breaks to employers, it re-routes those to individuals. You could have basic HSA plans funded with subsidies.

As a libertarian, I kind of hate the idea of socialized medicine but we have already been dealing with pretty much socialized medicine since way before Obamacare. I think that the idea of a true free market horse has left the barn and will never come back so there is almost a guarantee that whatever can hopefully replace Obamacare is going to have some socialized elements. Americans are going to demand coverage for the poor who can't afford coverage and are using the ER for health care, people with pre-existing conditions who the insurance companies gouge, the elderly who as a group drive premiums sky-high, and it also unshackles health care from your job so it is portable(hurray!).

Doing it all in a way that greatly reduces the government's role in health care will increase the quality of health care while giving better cost control for once. It could also eliminate some of the worst excesses done by insurance companies who have been able to operate with the blessing of each individual state and shut-out competitors and also devise plans that in some states are absolutely awful for the consumer who has no choice.

kcchiefandy's picture

...but then why can't we have one Federal plan that requires gas to be set at a certain rate, then private additives, approved by each State to their own design, to supplement the octane amount(s)? That way states can do what they wish in their marketplace. We could have basic gas funded with subsidies for the poor.

I appreciate the reduction of government in your idea, but am afraid you can apply that logic in just about any major market, especially in the arena of basic human needs. On the glass-half-empty side, though, there's so much/so many monied interests at play in medicine, it'd be a miracle to get them on the same page. Also, I had a taste of 'socialized' medicine in my 25 years of Army time, and it wasn't often a pretty picture (just think 'lowest bidder', albeit they've improved GREATLY over the last 10 years w/ the current wars, from what I can tell, IMHO).

rolling stone's picture

[quote] and it also unshackles health care from your job so it is portable(hurray!).[/quote]

This aspect alone would have major benefits to the economy by encouraging self-employment and entrepreneurship, and then watch the popularity of the "Take this job and shove it" attitude increase exponentially.

Last report I saw showed that United Healthcare's loss ratio was 69%. So for every dollar they took in they paid out 69 cents.
What happened to rest? Did they willingly paid all claims? Probably not!

As for mandatory insurance, maybe that will reduce the loss that hospitals experience when the uninsured use the emergency rooms and don't pay! Remember those who have insurance are paying for them in the end.

A few good points to Obamacare
1-mandatory that everyone carries insurance do you and I don't ultimately pay for the uninsured.
2-insurance regulation- they must pay 80% in loss ratio. United Healthcare pays only 69%.
3-no insurance company can refuse people for pre-existing conditions.
4-health coops for those who are high risk.

Actually, 1,2,3 are pretty good. Health insurance becomes a regulated industry the way the telephone companies operated. Free enterprise but under a watchful eye!

Now let's fire all the state insurance regulators and open the market to national competition!

Ideas to consider

This is almost a perfect match to the Swiss system per NUK_1.

We hate Obama but he was in the mark on few healthcare ideas here.

kcchiefandy's picture

HOME SALES TAX: I thought you might find this interesting; if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc. It's in the health carebill and it goes into effect on Jan. 1st, 2013. This bill will harm the retiring generation, who often downsize their homes. You weren't aware that this was in the Obama Health Care bill? Guess what; you aren't alone! There are more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either. You can check this out for yourself at:

Disclaimer: It is a GOP site. I assume the 'high income' earners are the $250K/yr. crowd?

Best visit & take another look!

kcchiefandy's picture

...for keeping me straight! So mansion-sellers are on the hook for this; didn't think it'd apply to me anyway! But, glad I didn't spread this hyperbole! Still, it seems quite an exclusive tax in a land that espouses equity.

[quote]Healthcare costs continue to spiral out of control as more people can't afford coverage using emergecy rooms as their health clinics. The result is we are all paying more as people who can no longer afford high premiums need healthcare. As you know hospitals can not deny anyone who walks in which is the right thing to do.
What .is the real solution?[/quote]

If we could ever take politicians out of the solution process, we should be able to come up with a solution that will help Americans remain physically and mentally healthy at an affordable price. ( and a ressonable profit for service providers). Sad that insurance providers count their responsibility as a loss. A lot of people are making a profit as we skid closer to the 'cliff'.

and the solution is called 'competition'. Republicans have been advocating this for several years. Lobbyists hate it because it would indeed cut profits, liberals hate it because you and I wouldn't be paying for it via taxes.

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