Currently, as well as before Obamacare, one out of every six dollars spent in this county is on healthcare. Our healthcare costs approximately twice as much as it does in any other country. We are 37th in outcomes. What are we defending?
If the markets could fix this problem, why didn’t the markets fix healthcare costs and outcomes before Obamacare when it was a free market system? Markets maximize profits for insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare networks rather than control costs and improve outcomes. Most healthcare is not optional, people do not have the option of not consuming it, and markets won’t function unless people can exercise options. In addition, why would an insurance company insure someone with a preexisting condition or a high risk older person, when it is obvious they will lose money on the deal. This is what history has shown us. For-profit companies will not voluntarily reduce their take of healthcare dollars.
Before Obamacare, 27 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare went to insurance companies. Pharmaceutical companies are marking up their products so much that products made in the U.S. and later shipped to Canada that you can purchase them there and still save 50%. Obamacare did fix a few of the problems around preexisting conditions, insurance for college age people, etc.; it is far from perfect.
What is the answer? Medicare for all, ask people on Medicare if they like it and you will hear a resounding yes. Not only that but it operates on 2% overhead, which is far lower than any market based system. Costs are much lower because the government has the ability to bargain with providers and therefore control costs. We know this works because other developed countries that have taken this approach get better outcomes for about half the costs. We may need a small deductible to curb abuse.
I have worked extensively in Canada and have asked many people how satisfied they are with their system. The answer is nearly universal that they are very satisfied. Ask that same question in the U.S. and you will get a very different answer.
If we are OK with putting profit ahead of human well-being we cannot call drug dealing or slave trade wrong.
Why can’t we just have an honest debate consistent with the facts. The answer is obvious because many other countries have figured it out. We do not have to adopt the things that don’t work well. Choose the best of each system and fix the rest. We just need to quit pretending what works for the rest of the world won’t work for U.S. Universal Medicare for all, managed by the Government instead of by for-profit companies because countries that have made that choice would never repeal it.