How to provide Medicare for all

BY MARCIA ANGELL

Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, became law six years ago. The intention was to ensure that nearly all Americans have health insurance, while controlling costs. How did that work out?

When the law was enacted, about 16 percent of Americans were uninsured. That has dropped to 10 percent. So instead of 50 million uninsured Americans, there are now about 30 million without insurance. That’s better, but hardly universal.

Health cost inflation slowed for a few years, probably because of the recession, but it’s now resuming its rapid growth. In total, the United States spent $8,400 per person on health care six years ago, or $2.6 trillion. Last year we spent $10,000, or $3.2 trillion…

By eliminating the two drivers of health cost inflation in the United States – private insurers and a profit-oriented provider system – we would bring the United States into line with the rest of the advanced world. It will be argued that this idea is “politically unrealistic,” but that hardly justifies not even trying, or imagining that anything else will work. The first step is to tell it like it is.

(Read the entire op-ed here.)

 


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