Barack Obama does not want to kill your grandmother or your unborn child.
Relax. Breathe. Repeat.
Barack Obama does NOT want to kill your grandmother or your unborn child.
The president also does not want to take over your current health coverage and replace it with a government-run plan.
I know. I know.
You’re saying, “But the guy on Fox News told me that he does!”
Or, “That guy giving the speech outside one of those town hall meetings said that Obama is the next Hitler or Stalin and he was wondering what the American holocaust would be called. He seemed so convincing!”
Unfortunately, if you believe these things, you’ve been lied to. You’ve been the pawn of special interest groups. You’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled by the Republican lying machine.
If you don’t believe me, look at HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, which was recently introduced to Congress. I know it’s lawyer talk and can be confusing, but nowhere will you see the words “abortion” and “euthanasia.”
But more about this later.
Over the next few days, I’ll try to explain why this healthcare reform is actually a good thing, what this reform actually is, why fears regarding state-funded abortions and increased euthanizations for the elderly are unfounded scare tactics, and why liberal cries of “single-payer,” while well-meaning, are pipe dreams.
We will get to the lies and misconceptions, and actually look to see what “reform” means, but before that, it’s important to discuss why reform is actually needed.
We’re No. 1 (in health expenditures)!
During the last few weeks, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard critics of health reform say, “They want to make the U.S. system look like those in Europe or Canada.”
Unfortunately, this reform won’t go that far, but why wouldn’t the American politicians want to emulate the systems from Europe or Canada?
All of those mostly public systems are cheaper and more effective than the mostly private American system.
Reality is that the American healthcare system is broken. It’s been broken for years. It’s too expensive and excludes too many people.
In fact, the United States is the only developed country in the world that lacks universal coverage.
An estimated that 15 percent, or 45.7 million Americans lack coverage (link opens a PDF).
There are several reasons why so many Americans remain uninsured. The primary one being cost.
Most of the uninsured live in households that make less than $50,000 per year.
But at least 5 million Americans are uninsurable because of “pre-existing conditions.” In addition, there are an estimated 8 million uninsured children and an estimated 8 million uninsured young adults.
Healthcare reform should bridge this gap in coverage.
According to 2005 numbers from the World Health Organization, the United States spent 15.5 percent of its gross domestic product on health. Canada, which has mostly a publicly funded system, which covers all of its citizens, spent 9.7 percent of its GDP on health.
What? That has to be a mistake.
Let’s look at other publicly run systems. France? 11.2 percent of its GDP on health. The United Kingdom? 8.2 percent of its GDP. Sweden? 9.2 percent.
So the question that begs asking is why does it cost so much more in the United States?
It comes back to the uninsured, which leads to the excessive use of emergency care. The costs of these visits, which run into the thousands of dollars per hour, are then passed on to the American taxpayer.
In addition, lack of preventive care in this country and the failure of technological advancement to spread to the health industry, also increase to the troubled system.
A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization with the goal of “working toward a high performance health system,” ranked the United States last among 18 developed countries in healthcare.
In a smaller survey of six countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, and Australia—the U.S. system ranked last or next to last in quality care, access, efficiency, equity, healthy lives, and cost.
The steps taken in the House bill would do much to alleviate these problems and substantially improve the American system.
Tomorrow. The lies and misconceptions about reform.