Today I commented on The Senate’s Trumpcare Bill Will Kill 50 Times More Americans Than Terrorists Have. This FORBES article frames the issue in a way that puts the large numbers in perspective.
According to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, “15 million people losing insurance translates to at least 18,000 preventable American deaths.” If Republicans simply repeal Obamacare instead, 38,400 would die – or 100 times more than Terrorists have killed. Do I have your attention yet?
Forget politics and ideology for a moment, and look at healthcare from a business perspective, but ignoring the spin of the industry itself. To improve profits, you can either cut costs or increase revenue, or do both.
REVENUE – Large self-insured corporations know that a healthy and skilled workforce is a productive workforce, so they invest in wellness programs and. the pillars of health: nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Those programs benefit the bottom line through reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. They also reduce how much is paid out in health care. More revenue at less cost makes business sense.
COST – If the U.S. we’re to reduce overall healthcare spending to match what other advanced nations pay per capita, then we could save over $1.5 trillion/year. That’s EVERY year. Every other advanced nation views health care as a right and has some form of single-payer system. Not us.
REVENGE – The Republican Congress is so blinded by their promise to punish Democrats and repeal Obamacare that all they can talk about is how to PAY for healthcare. There is some mis-guided discussion of reducing insurance premiums but almost nothing about reducing overall cost, or improving coverage, or the impact on national productivity, GDP, and global competitiveness.
K.I.S.S. – The ideal solution is a simpler solution: Single-Payer. That’s obvious to 80% of the nation but not to Republicans in Congress. A single-payer system could satisfy Republican campaign promises, lower overall costs, improve productivity, and even cut the need for welfare programs like Medicaid and CHIP, but Medicare-for-All is not enough.
SPECIAL INTERESTS – Unfortunately, healthcare in the U.S. is run like a perversely profitable industry, and this industry sees revenue differently than the rest of the nation. They have lots to lose if overall healthcare costs are cut in half, so they naturally spend a lot on political lobbying – nearly three times as much as the military industrial complex. That’s according to Steven Brill, in his 38-page TIME report, Bitter Pill: Why High Medical Bills Are Killing Us.
WHY REPEAL – Beyond the Republican campaign promises are other reasons discussed in this article, which features a short video by Robert Reich. Much of the reasoning is more sinister than just redistributing wealth to the top 1%. Apparently allowing people to die from poverty or lack of health care, or keeping them locked up, is an effective form of voter suppression.