There are four areas of medical insurance that any plan covering the whole American populace needs to address. Addressing one of these areas only partially leads to a solution of what we have now-the Obamacare Blues. The first is the rising cost of prescription drugs. The second is the rising costs of medical services. The third is the inadequately uncontrolled rising of medical insurance premiums. And the fourth is eligibility.
Before any dissection of Obamacare it is important to acknowledge the wonder that the President and his Political Party have accomplished with Obamacare. Thousands of lives have been saved and thousands more will be saved in the future. Forcing the medical insurance industry to acknowledge and then cover all of those with pre-existing conditions allows for health review of so many Americans who could not obtain or afford healthcare otherwise. The problem with pre–existing conditions is that so many of us have them and in many cases do not know it until it magnifies. Why in most instances would we even think about an illness until we had it? That’s not the way most of us roll. On top of that, the medical insurance industry, a profit making model, will look for ways out of coverage (like unreported pre-existing) even if their claim is dubious. The problem is that while the issue is being adjudicated health continues to deteriorate.
There have been reports and journalism about more than one individual who has eventually beaten the medical industry in courts but unfortunately that legal victory is too late to assure a medical victory. Much of this delay has been cut away by Obamacare.
Unfortunately there are still lots of states and millions of Americans that are not part of the Obamacare system. In those states the level of medical suffering goes unabated. It is a horror that being a citizen in a certain state in our country can be enough to prohibit medical coverage.
Once we get past the victory of Obamacare we must deal with the following problems that Obamacare does not address and I touched upon in the opening section of this article.
1. Obamacare does not address overpricing in the pharmaceutical industry. Competitive bidding including bidding world-wide is prohibited in the bill passes by Congress.
2. The cost of medical services are still largely unregulated and as the major conduit of payment to the medical services industry are the insurance company, who in their model pass cost increases to the consumer, the consumer has no advocate for cost curtailment. There is no medical cost advocate.
3. Insurance companies, even those operating through Obamacare, pass on their extensive cost increases to the consumers as their profit margin remains intact or expand. Those plans that have shrinking profit are soon abandoned by the insurance companies.
4. As I have already addressed, it is morally vacant for a person in any state to be denied treatment due to lack of medical insurance available to a person with the same condition(s) living in another state.
The Clinton campaign continues to hammer at the Sanders campaign saying that the single payer medical alternative offered by Bernie Sanders is naïve and unrealistic. While there is validity to that statement the Clinton campaign is equally naïve and unrealistic to expect that they can tweak the current Obamacare plan to such a level that it can address any of the aforementioned four problems and that even with voting support, can a plan like Obamacare ever address items 2 and 3 efficiently.
I posit that it is better to dream of something that can address all the wrongs than dream about something that can only address half of the wrongs. If insurance rates continue to rise no matter how Obamacare is tweaked, if coverage is denied no matter how many revisions are passed, can a law ever be considered an accomplished law?
I think if we are being honest the answer is no.
“In a series of reports in recent years, the Obama administration has cited data to show that health costs were growing at the slowest rate in decades. But that overall trend may stem in part from costs landing directly on patients, causing them not to seek needed care, experts said.
“One way to lower premiums is to increase deductibles, shifting costs back to consumers,” Mr. Jennings said. “Mrs. Clinton worries that high deductibles lead to the underuse of necessary medical care.”
“A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that specializes in health policy, said that “the growing use and size of deductibles in both employer and marketplace plans as a means to lower premiums threatens to undermine the gains Americans have made in coverage since 2014.”
“Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a longtime confidante of Mrs. Clinton, said the health care law poses a challenge for Democrats. The law, she said, has expanded coverage and slowed the growth of national health spending, both major achievements.”
“But, Ms. Tanden said, “consumers feel their costs have risen” because wages are stagnant and many employers have required workers to shoulder a greater share of their medical expenses.”