Sam Smith of the Progressive Review offers a great comprehensive summary of Obamacare.
The biggest takeaway for me from his piece is this:
The individual mandate offers no benefit to patients or the public that could not more cheaply and fairly be executed by a public program. There is, in fact, no justification for the mandate other than as a subsidy of private insurers who are, in this case, totally unncessary.
I’ll admit to being one of the many Americans Smith describes to open his article who doesn’t fully understand even the basic tenents of the Obamacare legislation. That said, I have written before about my desire for the United States to implement a nationalized healthcare system. To reiterate my main point from the aforelinked post, I strongly believe every citizen in this country should have medical insurance, regardless of their financial status. Put another way, if education is compulsory, medical coverage should be no different.
I agree with the quote excerpted above for two reasons:
- Obamacare is really half-assed in its execution because;
- Adopting nationalized healthcare would effectively relegate the HMOs to minority status. That is to say, I’m willing to bet people would leave them in droves if Congress created all-inclusive, blanket coverage for all. Ergo, the HMOs bottom line would get a whole lot smaller a whole lot faster.
As is the case with seemingly everything, the bill as it stands is mainly about money -- placating the HMOs by keeping them rich and relevant. By extending the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 0, everyone would be covered upon birth, no problem. And since workers pay into Medicare anyway, they’d essentially be paying for their own coverage. Further, for the low-income and unemployed, the government could fund their services. Philosophically, one would hope that this would be agreeable to all because it’s hardly fair (or right) that Little Jimmy the Cancer Patient be denied life-saving treatment because it’s too expensive.
It makes no sense to me that for a country that’s supposedly so “great” (and so rich) that America’s up to its eyeballs in debt and so many people aren’t insured because it costs too much. Moreover, considering that the likes of other industrialized nations such as Canada and the Europeans have lived happily with national healthcare for so long, you start to wonder what the fuck is wrong with our leadership that they don’t (or, more accurately, won’t) follow suit. To paraphrase one of the commenters following Smith’s article, Obamacare in its current form is proof that the best interest of the people are not at heart; rather, it’s all about the elites maintaining their precious status quo.
I do, however, disagree with how Smith closes his article:
Finally, perhaps the best thing about the bill is that it makes Medicare for all seem simple, sensible and sweet.
Don’t underestimate the stupidity and jackass-ness of America’s leaders. Obama included.