US Healthcare is now a crisis

  • The high cost of healthcare in the United States is a significant source of apprehension and fear for millions of Americans, according to a new national survey by West Health and Gallup.
  • Relative to the quality of the care they receive, Americans overwhelmingly agree they pay too much, and receive too little, and few have confidence that elected officials can solve the problem.
  • When given the choice between a freeze in healthcare costs for the next five years or a 10% increase in household income, 61% of Americans report that their preference is a freeze in costs.
  • Cancer drugs in the U.S. routinely cost $10,000 a month.
  • More than half of Americans in one poll said that bringing down drug prices should be a top priority of the federal government.

According to Gallup “Americans in large numbers are borrowing money, skipping treatments and cutting back on household expenses because of high costs, and a large percentage fear a major health event could bankrupt them. More than three-quarters of Americans are also concerned that high healthcare costs could cause significant and lasting damage to the U.S. economy”. In other words, you had better take steps to improve your health because we can’t afford to get sick.

45% of Americans are concerned a major health event will leave them bankrupt.

The prices of injectable cancer drugs – even older medicines around since the 1990s – are increasing at a rate far higher than inflation, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Health care spending in the United States is a major concern and is higher than in other high-income countries, but there is little evidence that efforts to reform US health care delivery have had a meaningful influence on controlling health care spending and costs.

Republicans are trying to say that US Healthcare is good.

67% of Republicans consider the quality of care in the U.S. to be the best or among the best in the world; just 38% of Democrats share this sentiment. 77% of Americans fear rising healthcare costs will damage the U.S. economy, and 45%fear a major health event will lead to bankruptcy.

Of all the political issues that divide us, health care is the one with the greatest impact on ordinary Americans’ lives. In 2017, Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare made it clear to everyone that their party didn’t have any better ideas, and never did; everything they proposed would have devastated the lives of millions.

Then health care became the top issue in the 2018 midterms, and voters who considered it the most important issue went Democratic by a three to one margin. Yet they refuse to listen to voters.

Most Republican-controlled states are still refusing to expand Medicaid, even though Washington would bear the vast majority of the costs. Utah held a direct referendum on Medicaid expansion, which passed easily – so the will of the voters was clear, even in a very conservative state. Yet GOP legislators are blocking the expansion anyway.

And now the Trump administration, having failed to repeal the ACA when Republicans controlled Congress, is suing to have the whole thing declared unconstitutional in court – because what could be a better way to start off the 2020 campaign than taking insurance away from 20 million Americans?

Today’s Republicans hate the idea of poor and working-class Americans getting the health care they need.

Republicans want to take away your health care. Democrats, on the other hand, want to make it better and cheaper — not just in the long run, with some kind of radical health reform, but right away.

The day after the Trump attack on Obamacare, House Democrats released a plan to enhance the A.C.A., mainly by expanding the subsidies that limit the share of income families have to spend on insurance premiums. Lower-income families would end up paying less; middle-class families whose income is now just a bit too high to qualify for subsidies, yet still find the cost of insurance hard to bear, would be brought into the system and see major gains.

So Democrats have a realistic plan to expand health care, while Republicans are still pursuing their jihad against Obamacare.

Health care was central to the 2018 midterms, and 75 percent of voters who considered it the most important issue voted Democratic. Modern Republicans just hate the idea of using public policy to help Americans get the health care they need, even when people’s inability to get insurance is a result of pre-existing medical conditions over which they have no control.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and Republican claims about health care.

The G.O.P. health care claims are special, in several ways. First, they’re outright, clearly intentional lies — not dubious assertions or misstatements that could be attributed to ignorance or misunderstanding. Second, they’re repetitive: Rather than making a wide variety of false claims, Republicans keep telling the same few lies, over and over. Third, they keep doing this even though the public long ago stopped believing anything they say on the subject.

When Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, went on TV Sunday to declare that “every single plan” Trump has put forward “covered pre-existing conditions,” that was just a lie.

The Congressional Budget Office said in its assessment of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act, which would have caused 23 million to lose coverage, and would have passed if John McCain hadn’t voted “No”: “People who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all.”

But Mulvaney’s pre-existing conditions lie, along with his lie about nobody losing coverage if the lawsuit against Obamacare succeeds, was normal by G.O.P. standards.  Republicans just keep telling the same lies, over and over. Again and again they have promised to maintain coverage and protect pre-existing conditions — then offered plans that would cause tens of millions to lose health insurance, with the worst impact on those already suffering from health problems.

 Americans want everyone to have access to health care. There isn’t even that much of a partisan divide: An overwhelming majority of Republicans don’t believe insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage or charge more to those with pre-existing conditions.

This public near-unanimity is one reason Medicare is so popular. Getting older — and thus joining a group with much higher average health coststhan the rest of the population — is, after all, the ultimate pr


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