Home > Politics > Obama’s healthcare bill is not a step in the right direction

Obama’s healthcare bill is not a step in the right direction

Regardless of what you think about the government’s proper role in health care, the recent bill that passed the House of Representatives in the U.S. is not good. It amazes me how many people, many of whom are otherwise good skeptics, will either praise the bill as an amazing achievement on its own merits, or say that it is a step in the right direction. Both of these positions are nonsense unless you support a bill that will raise costs for most people, and force people to buy insurance coverage even if they can’t afford it, all while bringing more revenue to the health care industry. Sounds like a great step in the right direction!

This fact sheet, released by Fire Dog Lake, is probably the best description of why this bill really isn’t good for anyone (except maybe shareholders in the big drug and insurance companies). I would highly recommend that everyone reads it over (it’s pretty short) and then reads through some of the sources. Hopefully it will give everyone a factual foundation from which to base their opinion rather than from the rhetoric produced by the politicians.

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  1. Ian
    March 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I don’t see how a blog with weak references is good skepticism of this bill. Where are the lawyers, economists, medical health professionals, researchers etc. in those references. Almost every reference they cite is to their own blog.

    The post also fails to mention the provisions that give children extra coverage and prevent coverage being denied or dropped for any reason. It also really seems to ignore how there will be assistance programs for low-middle class payers who can’t afford but are now required to have insurance. While the bill is very weak as a whole, its biggest accomplishment is demonstrating that after 30-40 years of stalemates that the US system is not completely broken, just mostly.

  2. Daniel Gipps
    March 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Always be careful of arguing that someone didn’t provide good references, and then mention aspects of the bill without ANY references.

    With that aside, yes, I never intended this post to be a full look at every aspect of the bill. That would clearly be impossible to do without spending months researching, and then writing a book. My point was to bring up some issues that people seem to ignore while claiming that the bill is really great.

    According to Politifact, the bill does stop people from being denied or dropped, but not without significant loopholes (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/mar/03/nancy-pelosi/pelosi-says-democrats-tackle-preexisting-condition/).

    What Obama has said about child care has often been hyperbole. The law does less than he has said (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYnajhWrPEXihcCrpRNfUKN7rN-AD9EKTKIG0), although you could still easily make the argument that less is better than nothing.

    As for the subsidies for low-middle class workers, you are correct. The subsidies aren’t huge, but they do exist (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYnajhWrPEXihcCrpRNfUKN7rN-AD9EKTKIG0)

    Overall though, the bill expands coverage for the population as a whole, without doing much to cut costs. In economics speak, they are raising the demand more than the supply (doctors/nurses/hospitals etc.), and this is going to lead to higher rates. It makes no sense to argue that covering more people, especially sick people, is going to lower costs for health insurers and therefore lead to lower premiums. Forcing them to cover more will raise costs for everyone.

    I’m not arguing that literally every line of the health care bill is bad, I’m just saying that it really doesn’t do much to help average americans. Much greater competition between insurance companies (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYnajhWrPEXihcCrpRNfUKN7rN-AD9EKTKIG0), or a simple public option, would have been far better ways to improve health care and more importantly, lower costs so that most people can afford coverage.

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