Here We Go: NY Times Editorial Board Finally Figures Out An Angle On Obamacare

The Editorial Board of the “Paper of Record” has been strangely silent over the past couple of weeks, with only tiny mentions of the “Affordable” Care Act over the past month, despite the enormous problems that have cropped up. Their last big one was when they deemed that Obama “misspoke” when he said “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” When they do chime in, it tends to be to carry the administration’s water (I bet NY Times bigwigs want nothing to do with signing up through the Exchange themselves) and go after Republicans. They finally found another angle

The Shame of American Health Care

Even as Americans struggle with the changes required by health care reform, an international survey released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, a research organization, shows why change is so necessary.

The report found that by virtually all measures of cost, access to care and ease of dealing with insurance problems, Americans fared poorly compared with people in other advanced countries. The survey covered 20,000 adults in the United States and 10 other industrial nations – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which put in place universal or near-universal health coverage decades ago. The United States spends far more than any of these countries on a per capita basis and as a percent of the national economy.

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Obviously, O-care is The Answer!

The Affordable Care Act was created to address these problems by covering tens of millions of uninsured people and providing subsidies to help many of them pay for policies; by setting limits on the out-of-pocket costs that patients must bear; and by requiring that all policies cover specified benefits.

Americans are understandably frustrated with the Obama administration’s failure to produce a functioning website. President Obama’s erroneous statements that all people who like their current insurance policies can keep them – not true for many people buying insurance in the individual market – has added to anger and misunderstanding. The reform law, however imperfect, is needed to bring the dysfunctional American health care system up to levels already achieved in other advanced nations.

It may have been created to address these problems (doubtful), but it in no way accomplishes any of what they say. Cost is going up in the form of premiums and deductibles. Access to care is going down as networks are limited and doctors want nothing to do with either the insurance or more Medicaid patients. The issue of dealing with insurance companies will probably not change, though now more people will have to deal with The Government, vis a vis the majority of signups who were shifted to Medicaid. Furthermore, access will be more of a problem when the unelected and unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board (aka “death panels”) gets involved in determining care, and you have a large number of people with Medicaid and Exchange plans accessing a limited number of medical facilities. These plans also do not include the best medical centers, as well.

Certainly, there is a problem with the healthcare system in the United States. You can start with the notion that this is a huge country with 300 million plus people and mandates for the system come from a federal government way away in D.C., determining rules and regulations with little regard to reality. Then the States chime in. Both often ignore the medical and insurance professionals. There are things we can do to help fix the problems, much of them created by Government. Obamacare is not that answer.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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