>The U.S. Health Care Reform: the Problem Is How

>Washington, DC. – I went on Wednesday to the White House again to listen to Barack Obama. This time, in an hour long press conference, he talked about how important is the heath insurance reform for the U.S. economy. “Even as we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health care reform is central to that effort.” That is fine.

Obama is worried for the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance, and also for those “who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change their job.” So far, so good; the problem is how he is going to cover all these Americans.

The U.S. has the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the developed world. The country has two public health programs, Medicare, a social insurance which provides coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, and Medicaid, program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Obama wants to expand this last one for almost all citizens, and compete with it in a free market with a variety of private health plans. But the problem is how he is going to pay for it.

During his prime time press conference, he explained that the reform is “about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive”, but the problem is how he is going to guarantee coverage. He insisted in the necessity of reform the system because of the fact that “the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid”, but the problem is how; I mean, What he is going to reform?

The main problem of his plan is how much money is going to cost the plan and from where he is going to get the money to pay for it. The Congress estimated his plan in an increase in the national deficit of 239 billion dollars by 2019. Where money will come from?

Obama administration is in a crusade to force the Congress to approve the bill as soon as possible. They wanted it before the House recess, next month, but yesterday congressmen pushed the discussion till September.

It’s not clear whether he is going to succeed. There are too many questions without answers. During the press conference Obama only explained that he wanted to increase coordination among medical teams and current programs to reduce costs and increase efficiency. But it seems not enough to pay the entire plan. How much will this health care plan really cost? How can it cover nearly everybody without higher taxes or debt? Who is going to decide which treatments are allowed?

I think Obama is focus on a public communication strategy like if he were in a political campaign, just saying general ideas everybody could agree with, but not answering the concerned questions. Now it could be too late because the concerns about how solid is his plan have spread over the country, and many Americans don’t like experiments, especially now in a time of crisis.


5 comentarios en “>The U.S. Health Care Reform: the Problem Is How

  1. >mostly agree…in my opinion he´s just pointing out a concern. now the team behind will have to figure out how to move it forward. like any politician, when he talks he is setting expectations. For sure, he will be judged against these expectations. but not so soon! come on, you are agobiaaaaaante!!!i normally hate all politicians, because they are always talking bullshit. In europe, we are tired of them because they are always the same ones (as opposed to US, where they keep changing) and again and again, the keep forgetting their promises. So it´s this matter of repetition that provokes my repugnance. They play with the average citizen, stupid enough to buy into their promises again and again. we have a lot of average stupid citizens, by the way…Good thing is that Obama is new, so i am giving him some time… i don´t understand why everybody keeps judging a guy that is totally new for them, and that has been in the government for such a short period of time… give him a break.Now, my opinion is that:- hospitals should always be private. private always works better in the long run.- employers should be forced by the government to provide their employees with an standard health insurance- Government, in the other end, should pay for the private insurance of the unemployedThis is the model in the rich oil countries (they leapfrogged from nothing to capitalism, so they have never been exposed to communism!) This way, 1) everybody is covered, 2) money, both public and private, is efficiently used, and 3) the ones working in the hospitals are actually work!!!!mary poppins

  2. >In my opinion, there are two fundamental questions concerning the healthcare debate. Are we going to support a system that is fair (for the working class) or one that is efficient at providing healthcare to everyone? The second question is whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. The current system is fair (for the working class), and healthcare is a privilege. Money comes from the government to cover people at the two extremes, the very old and the very poor, and everyone else is responsible for providing their own coverage. The system is expensive for small businesses and individuals, but because you get what you work for, the system is fair. Rich people and very poor people get the best care, and the middle class suffers. If you don’t have a job (and your not independently wealthy), chances are you don’t have healthcare. However, this system drives up the overall cost, making US healthcare the most expensive in the world. Because so many people are uninsured (42 million), conditions, which are preventable or treatable, are neglected, leading to chronic (more expensive) conditions or intensive/ emergency care later on. Furthermore, moderately poor people are driven deeper into poverty because they can’t protect themselves financially against sickness. I think politicians are wary of reforming this system because the only feasible source of money is from taxes. To generate money from taxes you must hit rich people the hardest. A Universal system is efficient and treats healthcare as a fundamental right by assuring that everyone has a basic level of coverage. However, the system is unfair because people in the highest tax brackets get taxed (a lot: See: Canada). With that said, the administrative costs for Medicare is less then two percent. If this system were expanded, the initial cost would be enormous. But it would eventually pay for itself (if everything went smoothly that is) by reducing administrative costs generated by insurance companies and increasing preventative care. Obama’s system will tax the rich, but will work for the average American. I’m with Obama because I am young and a Democrat, but I understand why most people (i.e. people who can afford their own healthcare already) are not. With that said, the U.S is the only country in the developed world (except for South Africa) that does not provided healthcare for everyone. I glad that someone in power (sorry Hilary) is finally doing something about it.MO

  3. >I do not think there is any need for hard choices. Being economically viable, in the long run is also being fair. Once you cover the 47 milion of uninsured people, and once you have the other thousands of families not going bankrupcy because of the costs of health care you can have a real fully fledged economy!!The US economy is successful not thanks to its current health care system, but DESPITE the current health care system.Once things are properly fixed, the US will have a true solid economy and everyone will benefit.

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