After 7 years of talking we will soon see whether or not republicans are willing to step up to the plate. Obamacare is torturing the America people. The democrats have fooled the people long enough. Repeal, or repeal and replace. I have pen in hand.
Donald Trump on Twitter this morning.
I'm sure he does. However, as usual, Mr. Trump didn't seem to have a firm grasp on what was happening in the Senate this afternoon. The yes vote didn't immediately create a new health care law, or repeal the old one. What it did was bring any number of proposals--the house replacement bill, the senate version of it, all manner of amendments, and the issue of repeal only--to the floor of the Senate for open debate.
In short, any replacement of the Affordable Care Act remains a fog shrouded, ghoulish, target located at the end of a long and contentious road.
So, just what is the state of American health care when compared to other industrialized, rich, countries?
Well, even with the ACA it sucks.
The Commonwealth Fund, which was established in 1918, has tracked the state of medical care in 11 industrialized countries since 1980. It's latest report looks like this:
When it comes to access, affordability, and timeliness of treatment the U.S. ranks 11th out of 11 while the Netherlands is first.
In the area of health care efficiency, ie. availability of your regular Doctor, access to medical records and test results, and the effort required to deal with insurance and government paper work, the U.S. is 10th out of 11, trailed only by France.
The one place the United States does climb in the rankings is preventative care--a key benefit of the ACA--coordinated care and patient preferences. We are fifth out of 11. The U.K. is first.
Then we get to the quality of health care received by the wealthy as opposed to the poor. The U.S. is last by a huge margin.
Finally there is the bottom line. It falls under the category, health care out comes per population. In other words the death rate amenable to health care and specific diseases. The citizens of the United States of America, despite paying more per person each year for health care than the people in any of the other nations surveyed, is mired once again in 11th place.
But, hey, enough of brutal facts. Let's get to the really bad news. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the proposals put forward by the republicans which will improve any of those stats. In fact, the dreadful truth is once their plan, or non plan is finally signed into being things will get even worse.
Todays, The Oklahoman noted if the GOP health plan passes, as currently written, rural hospitals in the state, which are barely hanging on now, will collectively loose $25 million during the first year it is law.
The non partisan Congressional Budget Office projects the House version of the GOP replacement bill will cost 23 million Americans their health insurance within 10 years. The kinder Senate version will cut 22 million off from coverage. If the republicans can't get anything passed and just repeal the ACA cold turkey, the CBO says 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance.
In addition George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund predicts a repeal without replacement will cost over one million people employed by the health care industry their jobs. Over the next decade one in every 20 health care worker would go unemployed.
Yes, it would seem the GOP strategy is two fold. First, make sure America's poor and those of non European descent aren't able to vote. Then, let 'em die in the streets from preventable diseases because they can't afford readily available health care.
The Big Orange Guy really isn't the problem here. He hasn't a clue when it comes to what is in, or not in any of the proposals floating around the hill. In fact, it's not even clear he understands what health insurance is. All he knows is thousands of Obamaphobes cheered when he said he'd get rid of the ACA and by God he's going to sign anything that does.
Indeed, Don Trump, in this instance the cheerleader in chief, may have a pen in hand, however, it's the congress of the United States which holds the dagger to our hearts.
And tragically, a scant few hours ago, Vice-President, Mike Pence and 50 of those ruthless bastards got together and agreed to decide exactly how and when to plunge it in.
Such is the current state of, The American Dream.
sic vita est