Posts Tagged ‘obamacare’

Well, then where is single payer?

May 6, 2017

Give him credit, at least he’s facing his constituents. Of course, the line he offers at the end about Obamacare being unsustainable is an unadulterated line of horse manure, but at least he’s saying it to their face.

Our health care spending add a lot to our federal budget/debt. It’s expensive no matter how you cut it. The truth is, though, that the ACA has done more to reign in those costs and control them than we would have seen without it, or that we will see with the AHCA.

For the talk of the cost of premiums going up, they have still climbed at a slower rate than they did the decade previous.  For anyone who had health care, take a look at your premiums. They never went down. And while some places had hikes that were abnormally high, others didn’t. As a whole, it put our health care system in a better place.

It also extended the life of the social security fund. Now, to be clear, social security was never going to go entirely bankrupt. Even after the fund that was set up runs out of money to guarantee 100% of expected payouts, the yearly money coming in was still expected to meet anywhere from 75-85% of those costs. It was never going to shrink to zero and, if some pretty simple and relatively painless (compared with the pain of screwing over the elderly in 15 years who won’t have those social security checks they expect/need) taxes are enacted, there won’t be any short fall.

The ACA has made it possible for a whole bunch of people to have insurance that would have otherwise went without.  And going without insurance does, in fact, kill people. I’ve talked about the moral imperative of caring about your neighbor before. Personally, I think it’s just a bit easier to be okay living in a nation where we decided to put our money where our mouth was and ponied up to try to make sure they could be a bit more okay.

This doesn’t touch this unsustainable malarkey that Rep. Tom Reed went to, though.  The truth is that if the ACA is unsustainable, then market based insurance is going to be unsustainable unless you’re fine with everyone but the very wealthy being able to afford to see a doctor. Which is essentially saying that a whole bunch of people are going to live painful, disease-ridden lives before dying before their time in likely miserable, painful ways while afflicted with diseases and conditions that could have at least been mitigated with proper health care. This is a long way of saying screw the poor. Or even middle class, because health care is really really expensive and even if you’re pulling down $70K a year, if you get hit by the cancer stick you’re also going to get hit with the bankruptcy stick just trying to survive it.

The only fall back at that point is to just go to the emergency room for everything, where they have to see you and treat you since a law Ron Reagan signed in 1986, and then just not pay whatever bills result.

Which will increase costs for everyone else. So even if you’re not paying for someone to be on medicaid, you’re still paying for their care but in a far less efficient way. In other words, you’re spending more money to provide care to that person than you could have spent if you just made sure they could have some sort of insurance.

But, yeah, the ACA isn’t sustainable. Which should mean the only rational choice is to move to a single payer system. Instead, we’re going to go with a more expensive, less efficient system that gives coverage to fewer people. Because rich people, taxes, and an insanely selfish, short-sighted GOP that lies through its teeth about all of this.