Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Obamacare Helped - But The System Is Still Broken

The chart above is from the Gallup Poll -- done between January 2nd and March 31st of a random national sample of 44,596 adults, with a margin of error of only 1 point. It shows one of the biggest accomplishments of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) -- a reduction in the number of Americans without health insurance from 17.1% to about 11.3%. That's a substantial reduction, meaning it allowed millions more Americans to get health insurance (and avail themselves of live-saving preventative medical care).

But it also is one of the weaknesses of Obamacare. It has still left 11.3% of the population without any kind of health insurance -- something not true of any other developed nation (who cover all citizens). Obamacare has been successful in reducing the number without health insurance, but it has not done the job that was needed -- to cover all Americans.

The chart below shows the other major failing of Obamacare -- it's failure to rein in the rapidly growing cost of health care. Note that the inflation of health care costs is much larger on a continuing basis than the general inflation rate in the United States. This is especially serious for older Americans (for whom health care is a major expense) and for those without insurance (who see health care grow further out of reach with each passing month).

Obamacare needs to be fixed to cover all Americans and to control the cost of healthcare. Unfortunately, the only health care bill we have seen recently is the odious Republican plan, which didn't even get a vote in Congress. That's good, because this plan would have taken insurance from millions of Americans while doing nothing to control the rising cost of healthcare. In other words, it would have made things even worse.

The Republican plan did show us one thing -- that a health care fix (more coverage and less cost) will not happen as long as the Republicans control our government. Until they are voted out of power, health care costs will continue to rise astronomically and millions will continue to go without insurance (denying them critical preventative care).

Obamacare improved our health care system, but it did not fix it. The system is still broken -- and to fix it we must vote the GOP out of power in 2018 and 2020.

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