Insanely dysfunctional – the US healthcare system November 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Here’s a good piece by the brilliantly named Vann R. Newkirk II in the Atlantic on the curious fact that while under Obamacare there are now less uninsured US citizens than at any time previously the measure itself is less rather than more popular, with 47% of people agin and 44% supportive. That latter figure isn’t bad, but it’s not the highest it has been. As the piece notes;
If Donald Trump’s candidacy weren’t so unusual—and if he wasn’t currently fighting off a monumental and unparalleled campaign of self-sabotage—anxiety about Obamacare probably would have been one of the most important issues in the months leading to the election.
Well, let us be grateful for small mercies!
Still, if you want to get a sense of just how crazed the system in the US actually is how about this paragraph?
Much of the existing historical research on health-insurance “churn,” or the number of times people change insurance coverage types over a given year, indicates that people’s level of coverage falls along a continuum of statuses—more volatile for some than others—rather than in a solid state of existence. Even over the course of a single year, people’s insurance status often changes as they gain or lose jobs; slide in and out of eligibility for public insurance; experience major life events; face employer changes in coverage offered; or make choices to change insurance based on price or benefits. Many of these transitions are accompanied by gaps in insurance coverage or major changes in costs, doctors, and health-care regimens. Those things—the actual cost and experience of seeking and receiving necessary health-care services—are the most salient effects of any health policy on the daily lives of people.
There’s something brutal about the fact that healthcare – something so important, so central, can be subject to such randomness in terms of events.
What’s perhaps even more telling is the fact that there is a perception, 46% of US citizens who believe that the level of uninsured is the same as it was before Obamacare was introduced. For those of us on the left Obamacare is a partial and problematic approach in and of itself. But given the forces arrayed against its introduction and continuation one has to bear in mind just how important in the individual and collective senses it can be. Not enough, not nearly enough, but something that could be worked upon.
Perhaps, actually, it is a pity that it isn’t a bigger issue.