Even after three years, the nation remains divided on Obamacare. The people who already had health insurance—as well as those who have lost their insurance since Obamacare became law—still seem to hate it. The people who didn’t have insurance before, and don’t yet have insurance now, seem to love it because they think it means free health care. Obviously they have never heard the old saw about the free lunch.
Health care and health insurance are two distinctly different things. Having health insurance helps insulate a family against the costs of a catastrophic illness, for example, but really does nothing to guarantee any kind of quality care. All the insurance in the world will be of no use to the person who has a fatal illness science has not yet figured out how to cure.
Too much of the discussion about health care is really about the cost of health care and not enough is about quality. Some of the big thinkers out there, like former Bush White House senior aide Jim Pinkerton, have been sounding the call for even more spending on health care and on research. He makes the very salient argument that the economic costs of not doing so could be crippling 50 or even 25 years out as the nation grapples with the declining health of an aging population that is, overall, living longer—which is exactly why Obamacare is the wrong prescription for moving forward.
As many health care experts have explained, the route that the president’s signature legislative achievement puts the country on is one that makes stops at places like rationing, denial of care, quality of life determination boards and other backwaters where, it will become clear uncomfortably soon, people go to die. To put it simply, America needs to spend more money on health care, not less, an idea that really is at the heart of most of the conservative proposals to transform the nation’s health care industry.
Nevertheless it is the GOP that gets the rap for being parsimonious and uncaring. It’s the GOP that gets ads run against it showing prominent elected officials pushing grandma out of her wheelchair and over a cliff. It’s the GOP that needs to get to work talking up real reforms that will replace the sham that is Obamacare; reforms that will improve the quality of the health care available and, over time, make more health care available to more people.
Read More at US News . By Peter Roff.
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