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The Good, the Bad & the Missing
This new eBook on Obamacare neither extols its virtues nor condemns it as a “government takeover of healthcare”. It instead explores why Obamacare won’t be enough to solve America’s deep-rooted medical crisis – not just a financial crisis, but a safety threat the public doesn’t fully appreciate.
The book also contrasts Obamacare with the deregulated free-market approaches advocated by its opponents – with head-to-head comparisons with Governor Romney’s healthcare plan.
But there’s more than just the two political options to consider.
There’s A or B – and Then There’s C
Too many think it ends with one or the other, but neither provides a lasting solution to America’s multi-tiered healthcare crisis. We need to look beyond the limited “solutions” our politicians devise for the kind of disruptive solutions that bloated andgrossly inefficient industries like healthcare require.
There’s no shortage of opinions about 2010’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) – or Obamacare – especially as we near what may be its ultimate referendum with this November’s presidential election. This has yielded mostly political diatribes that cherry-pick “evidence” that suits their purpose while ignoring that which repudiates it.
This new eBook on the subject –Obamacare – The Good, the Bad & the Missing– takes a highly analytic approach to both its strengths and weaknesses. It’s short on histrionics and Armageddon references and long on thoughtful analysis and recognition that it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition – that the healthcare crisis facing America is about even more than access for the uninsured and unsustainable medical costs.
Our Emerging Class of UNDER-Insured Americans
There’s an entirely new class of underinsured Americans – already a third of private insurance plans arehigh-deductible insurance with less real coverage and more out-of-pocket costs for those who buy them. The future for many Americans – especially its declining middle class – is more of these high-deductible insurance plans that will increasingly resemble catastrophic insurance coverage more like home insurance than what we now consider health insurance.
Free-market advocates on the political right think this is a good thing, while ignoring its demonstrated effect of discouraging legitimate patient access to care. It creates and promotes a form of“self-rationing” of medical care that may be more dangerous than the government rationing that so many Americans fear.
The theory is that consumers with “more skin in the game” will make wiser choices and be less aggressive in their use of our bloated and over-priced medical system. There’s something to that view – and there’s a lot against it, as well. Studies show many people with such high-deductible plans choose to forego what are often NEEDED healthcare services – proven screening exams, for example – because they can’t aford their out-of-pocket costs before they’ve reached their deductible for the year.
So What? We Use Too Much Healthcare Anyway
If you’ve read Our Healthcare Sucks, you know that Americans are far too casual in their acceptance of medical interventions, including many screenings of dubious benefit. But that doesn’t mean they’re always of dubious benefit – it means prudent consumers need to learn how to choose among them given their own inherited disease risks and lifestyle behavioral risks.
While critical of Obamacare for not going “far enough, fast enough” given the magnitude of the crisis, the book finds it vastly superior to the deregulated free – market alternative advanced by Governor Romney – which the book suggests will “pour fuel on the fire” of our medical misspending. It cites the experience of the country’s most deregulated states, which generally score poorly for healthcare costs and quality (a list of “Rip-Off States” is offered to drive home the point).
To further support this conclusion, the first graph on the right – taken from the book - illustrates that virtually ALL the increases in America’s healthcare costs have occurred under less regulated Republican administrations.
Virtually all the healthcare cost increases in America occurred under Republican administrations – Click to Tweet
This hardly qualifies Obamacare – the Good, the Bad & the Missing as a defense of Obamacare, however. While it finds it better than its free-market alternative, it also suggests that “More than insurance needs reform” and that…
As many Americans may die because they gain health insurance under Obamacare as die from the lack of it.”
The reasoning is that more Americans will be exposed to medical errors responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. This dwarfs the number dying from lack of health insurance, according toJohn Lynch- the book’s author.
And this demonstrates the two crises in American healthcare that both political approaches neglect or ignore entriely – neglect of patient safety and declining medical ethics that drive our medical over-spending while increasing patient endangerment. These dual crises are the focus of Our Healthcare Sucks, but neither are prime targets of Obamacare or free-market deregulation that promises to make each of them even worse.
REAL Health Reform
Which is why the book doesn’t stop with just comparing Obamacare vs. Romneycare (Governor Romney’s plan for America, not his Massachusetts prototype for Obamacare).
In addition to comparing Obamacare to Romney’s free-market alternative, the book also compares it to themore fundamental and “disruptive” reforms it suggests are needed to realign medical spending with America’s economy.
While Obamacare goes further than Governor Romney would in addressing the flaws in our delivery of healthcare, both approaches focus too much on health insurance and too little on healthcare delivery – where most of our medical misspending occurs.
Our healthcare costs will double by the time the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that Obamacare encourages have meaningful impact – while Romney would rely on private insurers to change healthcare delivery, something they’ve failed at to date.
But we need to have realistic expectations of what Obamacare can actually achieve over the next 5-10 years. It won’t be enough to avoid a doubling of our current heathcare costs. And with continued cost-shifting to employees and consumers, many will see their current healthcare costs triple in that time frame.
Beyond “Death Panels”
The book’s divided into three parts:
Obamacare vs. Its Free-Market Alternative – This analysis of both Obamacare and why free-market theory doesn’t apply to healthcare (see Chapter 4 – “Free-Market Deregulation Will Add Fuel to the Fire”) ends with a comparison table of the two approaches (see sidebar);
Implementing Obamacare – These chapters review obstacles to a smooth implementation process, including a chapter devoted to the media’s role (Chapter 8 – “Media Wars – Shaping Public Opinion”); and
What Would REAL Health Reform Look Like? – A review of the kind of disruptive measures needed to make a faster and stronger impact on America’s medical misspending while expanding access to more of its uninsured and underinsured.
The book links to a handful of videos explaining various aspects of the ACA and why fundamental change in America’s healthcare system is so urgently needed in the first place.
And, fittingly, the book ends with a discussion of end-of-life care and the need to get beyond “death panel” sloganeering to address this crucial and sensitive issue if we’re to gain control of our healthcare costs in America.
If this sounds to you like the kind of hard-nosed, non-partisan analysis that’s missing from most of our media coverage of this timely subject, you can start reading more in minutes by clicking the orange “Add-to-Cart” button below. Your $12 purchase price is guaranteed refundable for a full 30-days.
And if you’re still not sure, you can get two free chapters – the one on “Why Free-Market Deregulation Will Add Fuel to the Fire” -right here - and/or “The Problem With Medicare Isn’t Medicare”right here.
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Excerpts from the book…Click on images for larger view