Friday, November 7, 2008

Quazi-Socialized Medicine - The Genesis Post

Yea, this topic will be evolving a lot over the next 4 years. The non-socialized socialization of insurance and medical expenses.

To be fair, there is definitly a need for at least something to be done for helping people get some kind of medical coverage. Both candidates have expressed this. Second, this is not an issue that there is a "black and white" answer to. There will always be a case of someone that will be an outlier that would cause any solution to healthcare to not be "the best way" to fix it.

But what exactly is the current problem with healthcare? Or more refined, how does Obama's policy solve what he sees as the problem in healthcare?

But before that, what is GOOD in our current healthcare system?

1. The U.S. healthcare service is ranked, worldwide, number 1 for responsiveness.

2. The number of people with health insurance increased to 253.4 million in 2007 (up from 249.8 million in 2006). The number of people covered by private health insurance (202.0 million) in 2007 was not statistically different from 2006, while the number of people covered by government health insurance increased to 83.0 million, up from 80.3 million in 2006. (Thats about 84.7% of Americans that have some form of health insurance)

3. Everyone can have access to emergency care regardless of insurance status and ability to pay through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), passed in 1986.

Now let's look at what's BAD in our current healthcare system:

1. Americans without health insurance coverage at some time during 2007 totaled about 15.3% of the population, or 45.7 million people.

2. The World Health Organization ranked, in 2000, the U.S. healthcare service the 37th in overall performance and 72nd by overall level of health.

3. Spending on healthcare in 2006 totaled $2.1 trillion, or 16% of GDP. This represented an increase of 6.7% over 2004 spending. Per capita spending was $7,026.

And what does Obama see as BAD in our healthcare system?

1. On health care reform, the American people are too often offered two extremes - government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe both of these extremes are wrong.

Doesn't really give much in detail of what the problem is, but if you read he does go more into specifics on health insurance.

This is the overview that I will start with. It's good to start with the framework, then work from there to fill in the details.

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