Point of View

Obamacare a step forward as positives roll in

January 10, 2014 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data this week that outline the positive effects Obamacare has had in reducing U.S. health care spending. From 2010 to 2012, health care costs grew at only 1.1 percent in real per capita terms, the lowest rate in 50 years.

In just two years of very limited operation, Obamacare has contributed significantly to an 80 percent drop in the 6 percent inflationary trends of the past decade. Particularly meaningful was the reduction in Medicare overpayments to providers.

This news is proof positive that U.S. health care, which now consumes some 25 percent of our entire economy, can be reformed and restructured. (Google “The United States of Diabetes” for hidden costs and America’s health problems.)

Since numerous studies point out that half of all U.S. health care costs are stolen or wasted – over $3 billion a day – Obamacare is proving to be the reform this industry has desperately required for the past 70 years. Add to the recovery of even a part of that theft and waste the savings to be gained from a healthier America and we have the reason nine of our last 12 presidents have pleaded with Congress to enact health care reform.

While the majority of people working within our health care industry are honest and decent, the system as a whole is broken; it is infected with a cancerous, privatized/corporate segment that puts its bottom line over good health, profits over patients. These people are the most vocal in opposing Obamacare and will spend billions on media propaganda to keep their horn of plenty flowing.

Possessed by seemingly boundless greed, they have created a health care industry that has negatively affected hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens. So when you hear anyone suggest that Obamacare should be repealed because it is imperfect in its early stages, ask yourself if you want a return to a system that:

•  Fails to insure 50 million of our citizens and underinsures 50 million more. • Negatively affects some 700,000 children every year due to medical-cost bankruptcies. • Fails most of the 800,000 combat veterans who suffer PTSD and TBI. • Fosters the appalling drugging of these vets to enable them to serve multiple, lengthy, mind-bending tours of 24/7 combat. • Warehouses a half million mental patients in jails and leaves untold thousands more wandering the streets.• Allows thousands of 6-, 7- and 8-year-old children to attend school every day with toothaches. • Costs at least twice that of any other industrialized nation. • Charges a family of four an average of $19,000 yearly.

And also:

•  Tolerates the massive and unsustainable diabetes epidemics of seniors and children. • Promotes a pharmaceutical industry so out of control that over half of all states have filed criminal and/or civil lawsuits in protest. • Found ways to increase the delivery, by 4000 percent, of untested, adult, anti-psychotic, psychotropic drugs to thousands of infants and toddlers. • Allowed millions of dollars of under-the-table payoffs to university psychiatrists who facilitated the drugging of those children. • Ignores massive increases in overweight risks in infants and toddlers. • Had the highest infant mortality rate of all OECD countries measured. • Is the only system in the industrialized world that fails to adequately insure all its citizens.

Any talk of repealing Obamacare is uniformed rhetoric or worse.

If we refuse to fix this tragic and totally unnecessary mess and choose to ignore the health of 100 million fellow citizens, what will we fix? What then of our morals? If we don’t restructure this sector, no matter how long it takes, the consequences will be devastating.

Sanity and our doctors may yet prevail over the medical mayhem created by Wild West free market capitalism. With Obamacare putting health care professionals back in control of our system, what savings and positive health outcomes might we attain?

So now, finally, after seven decades, there is hope – for our needy, our desperate, our helpless.

Obamacare has ably launched us on the health care path all other industrialized nations on earth have trod for some time. We should all be very proud.

The inescapable conclusion is that we must celebrate the Affordable Care Act’s passage as the first, most important step on the road to better health for so many millions of Americans.

Some think this may be the seminal principle that will lead to the recovery of our entire economy.

Don Hess of Raleigh has 50 years of experience in health care and financial services.

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