In the Arena

Obamacare Disaster!

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I just love it when I see neoconservatives pushing story angles like this one:

 a new study from Express Scripts, the large pharmacy benefits-managing company, reveals something else that ought to depress those liberals throwing victory parties for the success of the misnamed Affordable Care Act: those signing up for ObamaCare appear to be older, sicker, and more dependent on expensive, specialty drugs than the average person covered by employer-based health insurance. 

Two points:

1. This study, no doubt accurate, comes from a pharmacy-benefits company. And yes, of course, Obamacare has signed up a lot of people with dire medical conditions who will be filing a lot of expensive prescriptions. That’s the point of the exercise. But this study says absolutely nothing about the number of young people who signed up–if they signed up–who don’t have expensive prescriptions to fill. That’s the point of universal coverage: the healthy young help pay for the unhealthy elderly. This is a moral and civic duty. The young and healthy someday will be old and less healthy. (We don’t yet have any reliable indications of how many young people showed up.)

2. What sort of twisted mind could believe that taking care of the “older, sicker and more dependent” on expensive drugs is not a good thing? I’ve never bought that all this would cost less–though real reform of fee-for-service medicine would certainly help some. I’m in favor of universal coverage as a communitarian proposition: it is a social responsibility that we have. In most cases, these are hardworking people–those who don’t work get healthcare through Medicaid. I’d rather see my taxes go to helping those who are suffering than to subsidizing hedge-fund traders who pay Romney taxes.

But I wonder about all those salivating over Obamacare failures, real or imagined: Do they ever consider the actual human beings involved, the sum of human suffering diminished–or are they just interested in the political calculus? (Don’t worry, folks: I think I know the answer.)

7 comments
Gregory_V
Gregory_V

What does the Affordable Health Care Act do to encourage preventative health? (not knocking it specifically--this was a problem before the AHCA). I think America needs to take this a step further...

Granted there are those who get sick due to a tragic event or even genetic disposition, but what about the vast majority who simply refuse to take care of their bodies?  According to a JAMA study published in July 2013, obesity is now the number one cause of poor health in the American population (it beats smoking), and we are far worse off than the rest of the developed world in that regard.  Even the First Lady recognizes this problem and is genuinely trying to combat it.

Perhaps in addition to the civic duty of taking care of the elderly, our legislation should also take into consideration the civic duty to maintain your health.  I'm voting to expand the 'sin tax' from liquor to soda, candy, and all the other high fat and high glycemic index foods that are causing our health costs to skyrocket. Take the funds and apply them to our healthcare system.  Now THAT would make healthcare affordable (and much more fair)! Maybe we can even provide health discounts to those who maintain their fitness and don't participate in unnecessary high risk activities.  You want to help people, don't just pay for their health care, encourage or demand that they avoid unhealthy habits in the first place.

Heck, maybe we could even reawaken our communities to rebuild positive and constructive habits by promoting Victory Gardens.  Fresh vegetables (instead of the shelf stable, nutrient-deficient produce in the grocery store), positive outlet for stress, community building (including keeping elderly master gardners active and involved--a terrific yet largely untapped resource), teaching the average American to create value for him/herself, and savings for everyone (yes, everyone:  establish community gardens for those in apartments).  It worked in WWII (40% of Americas vegetables were grown by consumers), it can work again. If you doubt me, look up "The Good Food Revolution."

  You want a real solution?  Make it comprehensive solution.  All this half-stepping isn't addressing our real healthcare problems:  the preventative ones.

friendman1
friendman1

I believe that the Health Care Law has helped people.  Also, helped, started bring down cost that is why Republicans are up in arms.  Their cash cows are dying.

drbdes
drbdes

very soon obama care[as it should be called,as the greatest ever  by any  president, inspite of the great odds]

can be  self supporting  or  create wealth, very soon.

gives the less able, a chance to get ill, and get treated  before illness and postpone death,

that all our gods and Karma, together could not  give,

to a great nation  of great people[in spite  of the minority  that   plotted to  deny health care to all??


now they are talking  of bengazi,

 as if  it matters  bit, compared with  obama care,

but  yes, all event  matter,

 but to politicians, only  less relevant, seems to matter most?

is this a genetic   or evolutionary flaw?

drbdes
drbdes

prevention of access to medical care,

was always a sinister act, backed by those  who  bribed, to reduce cover, and leave benefits  with vested interest groups,

we  could easily  have afforded  this,  many times in the past  50  yrs and before,

it was purely  the cussedness of politicians,  just  like the nazis

drbdes
drbdes

obama care salvages  15 million and on the way to becoming  the biggest health care related,progressive act, in  50 plus yrs,


I have seen the suffering  of so many  in 50 yrs  of medical care,

serving the most needed, but ignored, for decades.

drbdes

zgare
zgare

I agree with Joe.  I cannot figure out these folks are who root for others to not get health insurance -- and it is always people who themselves do have health insurance.  

In my State of Missouri, it is even worse.  Our state legislature is turning down millions in federal taxes already collected from Missourians for expanded Medicaid.  Why?  It appears to be purely for political reasons.  And apparently we can't get them to change their minds -- we'll just have to vote them out.  What church did they attend growing up? 

I like that the Pope, at least, recognizes that Governments, especially Democracies, can implement some of Jesus's teaching as a group exercise.  That is not forbidden by Christianity that the government help lift people out of poverty and poor health.  And if they get inoculated, we're all healthier.

Who is the puppetmaster giving Republicans identical talking points and instructions, anyway?  Even David Gregory seems to get 1/2 of his questions handed to him from the Radical Right, instead of making up logical questions.

donaldeckhardt
donaldeckhardt

But most of the older people already have affordable care through Medicare, so they do not sign up for Obamacare.