Published: Sunday, Nov. 24 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Europeans pay far less than we do and have healthier populations as a result. No
system is perfect, but ours is in many ways the worst in the rich countries.
There are a few treatments available here that are not available in Europe, but
they do not seem to make us healthier. It is largely a myth that Europeans have
to wait longer for care, in fact in many cases they can get care quicker than we
can.I'm willing to listen to any proposals, but the few things
suggested in this letter would come nowhere near solving our problems. Obamacare
does not solve all of our problems either, but it will be a small improvement
over the current system, and it can be upgraded as time goes by.
"They [Republicans]need to focus on such possible answers as vouchers for
catastrophic coverage, health savings accounts, curbing malpractice suits on a
state level, encouraging imitation of some first-class clinics and promoting
interstate health insurance competition." Trouble is, not of
these measures are a fix, not even close. To make health care work we have to
do what other advanced countries have done, namely spread risk over the entire
population. This requires one system which enrolls everybody. Now
as to medicare, it is in trouble because the FICA tax which supports it is
massively regressive - taxation stops and $113,000 of personal income. The fix
for medicare is a progressive FICA tax, tapping high incomes.
Despite the hysteria by conservatives surrounding the ACA things are starting to
improve. Enrollment is picking up steam, the website is improving, and states
like Washington, California, and Kentucky are off and running with their
exchanges.The fanatical Obama haters are so invested in the failure
of the ACA that as it starts to succeed they will be forced to ratchet up the
negative rhetoric.How about a little positive press on the ACA and a
little less mindless negativity. We want all Americans to have healthcare!
So, this article reflects the opinions of "various
think-tanks".Picking and choosing which "think-tanks" is
called being "bias".Reading about "various
think-tanks" and actually living in one is different.BTW- Having
lived in Europe, Canada, Japan, and serving in the US military [also a socialist
system], I can testify that a single-payer Government regulated system is
by FAR better than what we have in the United States.
But the current system we have imposes rationing more than any single payer
system would. A lot of people are rationed right down to no care at all. We
don't deserve all the health care we want, if for no other reason than
it's unnecessary. We can make a single payer system work, and should.
I think we're seeing the official end of workable ideas conservatives have
for addressing healthcare.Let's examine the Health Savings
Account idea.McDonalds, in attempting to help their employees manage
their finances, suggest such things as cutting up food portions for young
children into smaller pieces, turning down the heat, and getting a second
job.Conservatives have always pushed for parents to be engaged with
their childrens' educations, which is unquestionably a good idea. However,
if these young parents are working a second job in the evenings, how are they
supposed to help their kids with school work, let alone set up and contribute to
a Health Savings Account?Yet, the Deseret News laments the low birth
rate, and pushes for young couples to have children, apparently without
consideration for an emerging conservative "you're on your own"
social ideology. Can conservatives see any kind of link between
these issues, can you see serious conflicts and glaring infeasibilities in the
recommendations?My kids are grown. I got help from older people in
subsidizing their education, and my kids now help pay for my healthcare. This
isn't evil.It's called "life".
@ Roland, You are dead wrong (no pun intended) about Europeans paying less for
healthcare. Europeans still pay about the same or more, except that taxpayers
pick up a much higher cost than we do (at least before Obamacare). It just
depends on who is actually paying for it! Socialized medicine robs Peter to pay
for Paul's healthcare. Paul may like it but it doesn't make it better
for all the "Peters" who are forced to pay for something they will not
receive. Eventually, Peter will run out of money, like America, France, Greece,
Spain, Portugal, England, et al. Heck, even Sweden has been forced to cut back.
Here are per-capita healthcare expenditures for several developed countries:USA 8235 Norway 5388Switzerland 5270Denmark 4464Canada
4445Germany 4338France 3975Sweden 3758Australia 3670Getting our spending down to the level of Norway or Switzerland, the
next highest spenders, would be the equivalent of getting all of our defense
spending for free.Getting it down to the level of France or Germany would
eliminate most of our long term deficits. By any objective measure
all of these countries achieve better health outcomes than we do. So we
don't have to sacrifice quality to get lower costs. By the way, Switzerland
has the system that most fully resembles Obamacare. You might investigate it.
Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UTHere are per-capita
healthcare expenditures for several developed countries:USA 8235 Norway 5388Switzerland 5270Denmark 4464Canada 4445Germany 4338France 3975Sweden 3758Australia 3670======== Roland, please don't use things like
"facts", and "numbers" and "data".It
disrupts the conservative neighborhood of make-believe, and skews their
made up world of reality.
@Mountanman"Europeans still pay about the same or more, except that
taxpayers pick up a much higher cost than we do (at least before
Obamacare)."Nope, they may pay more in taxation but it's
more than balanced out by their much much reduced individual/corporate payment
side of the equation. As a result they're paying 9-12% of GDP as a nation
on healthcare while we're spending 17.9% of GDP on healthcare. We're
paying a lot more than they are.
More of the same inaccurate propaganda that the GOP has been pushing for how
long now? Readers need to carefully fact check claims made in this op ed.
..... absolutely. What ever you do, don't take any learnings from people
who have been doing it for 60 years now... what in the world could they know.
Lets keep bumbling along fighting donkeys and elephants, and not
fixing anything that would increase our global competitiveness. Other empires
have failed because they failed to respond to change... looks like we
haven't learned that lesson yet either.
No healthcare system is perfect, but a single payer system would be
significantly better than the healthcare feudalism we currently have in the US.
When it comes to healthcare we essentially face two ways of rationing it and
they are money and time. Single payer systems often use time to ration
healthcare, but our system uses money. I don't believe
healthcare should be treated like a commodity or it will eventually become
superior healthcare for some (the rich/elite) and garbage healthcare or no
healthcare for the rest of us (middle class and down).
Not from Europe? Like others have already pointed out they pay less per captita,
are healthier and cover everyone! The only people I have heard
"suffering" is the Dr's that "only" make $150,000 a year
instead of $250,000 a year.When I was in Spain an American lady
stepped out in front of a bus and was critically injured. Her husband was
pleasantly surprised and grateful to find out there was no bill for the 2 months
in the hospital.
Vouchers, interstate commerce, and malpractice caps. The same sleight-of-hand
distractions that right wingers have been trotting out for years instead of
offering real legislation. Look, guys, Obamacare is here to stay.
If you want to improve it, offer real suggestions instead of holding your breath
and wishing that Mitt Romney had been elected instead.
It's like saying the Falcons need a solution, but not from the NFL.
Ninety-One percent of Americans think Obamacare should be abolished or
changed.I agree. I also agree that the Republicans did nothing,
when they had the chance, to improve the health care industry.What
could they or the democrats do?I just talked to a man who is being
billed $59K for a knee replacement operation.The anti-inflammatory
medicine he was given burned three holes in his stomach and one pill cost $9.Americans adopt unhealthy lifestyles such as gluttony, drunkenness, drug
addiction, promiscuous sex, heterosexual and homosexual. Millions kill their
own offspring while still in the womb. They trust in the arm of flesh when it
comes to professionals in health care and other professions. They eat a lot of
animal fat and red meat.Perhaps the gov'mt should advise us to
avoid these life styles adding a few choice statistics to drive the point
home.They should gradually un-involve themselves in health care and
leave health care to the states and to the people. There should be no mandates.
This is a free country or should be.They could insist that doctors
and hospitals publish their charges.
Since ninety-one percent of Americans now think Obamacare should be abolished or
changed, this subject is a propos. The problem of how it can be changed must
relate to the fact that health care insurance is not an ennumerated power of the
federal government.That being the case Obamacare must be abolished
as a federal program and it will be up to the states and the people to decided
what they want to do about health care and medical insurance.It is
my view that there is a problem and that something should be done. After having
recently talked to a man who was bill $59K for a knee replacement and $9 for the
administration, and suffered, in the process three holes in his stomach
resulting from the prescribed pills to reduce inflammation after the operation,
I am reminded that health care costs are out of control.Perhaps it
would help if doctors and hospitals would be required to publish their charges
for the various operations and procedures and make those publications easily
available. Whatever else everyone should be able to choose, without penalty, to
opt out of health insurance.
Elections have consquences. The people have spoken, Obamacare is here to stay.
At least for 3 more years.
I'll start listening to alternatives… when the
Republican party has one.
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