Ending Obamacare’s Nightmare Promises a Worse One
by Stephen Lendman
Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Vice President Pence said “America’s Obamacare nightmare is about to end.”
He lied saying he and Trump are committed to giving every American “access to quality, affordable health insurance,” vowing an “orderly transition” from current policy to Trumpcare.
The only responsible solution is government-sponsored, single-payer, universal coverage – ruled off the table by both wings of America’s duopoly system.
Everyone in, no one left out, equal benefits for everyone, not more for some, less for others.
House Speaker Paul Ryan wants tax credits replacing Obamacare subsidies, a boon for well-off households, disastrous for low-income ones and millions of unemployed Americans, paying little or no taxes – unable to benefit from credits.
He favors “mini-med” plans, offering minimal coverage, way too little in cases of serious illnesses, diseases or expensive hospitalizations and surgeries.
He wants inadequate block grants to states in lieu of Washington’s commitment to match their Medicaid spending.
He wants Medicare benefits beginning at age 67, instead of as early as age 62 currently, along with guaranteed benefits for seniors replaced by vouchers to purchase insurance – adjusted to inflation changes artificially kept low, ignoring soaring healthcare costs.
He and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon turned politician, want healthcare coverage for low-income and unemployed Americans reduced, while maintaining top quality coverage for the nation’s privileged class.
They want Washington’s obligation shifted to states. Martin Luther King once said “(o)f all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) advocates universal coverage as the only responsible policy. Their report titled “Beyond the Affordable Care Act: A Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform” addresses fundamental reform vitally needed.
America spends double the amount on healthcare compared to other developed countries, while providing inadequate or no coverage for most of its citizens. Trumpcare looks like a scheme to make a bad system worse, not better.
PNHP’s proposal corrects systemic deficiencies, most of all “high cost sharing, limitations of coverage, and subcontracting to wasteful private plans.”
It focuses heavily on dramatically reducing administrative costs and other inefficiencies. It aims to eliminate underinsurance and lack of coverage affecting millions.
Though publicly financed, it relies on private providers. It reduces billing and paperwork costs – eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars in exorbitant insurance costs.
Federal bargaining with drug companies would assure much lower-priced prescription drugs. Hospitalization costs would go down.
Overall healthcare costs in other developed nations are around half what they are in America. Trumpcare will do nothing to address this.
Under Obamacare, around 26 million Americans have no coverage. Underinsurance endangers millions more. High deductibles and co-pays add greater burdens for low-income households.
Trumpcare threatens to replace a bad system with something worse. Marketplace medicine works well for insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains.
Single-payer universal coverage is the only equitable system for millions of ordinary people, struggling daily to get by. It’s a fundamental human right.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.