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Obamacare- A step in the right direction but still some problems
First of all, I want to say that this program is a step in
the right direction. People will debate this constantly, but I do think that
healthcare is the right of all Americans. I considered going to medical school
a few years ago, but I realized how screwed up this system was and elected to
not pursue it. I had seen several people that died because they had no
insurance. This included even toddlers that were born into low-income families
Another huge issue is the cost of US healthcare. Many Americans would get really sick
and declare bankrupt due to the bills. One of the best locally-owned restaurants in my republican controlled state had to close down when the wife got cancer. This disease bankrupted them and they lost a great business (people would even come in from neighboring towns to go here so they were great for the economy).
Similarly, I had a classmate in college that came down with a serious illness. She could not afford the medical bills so she had to drop out of college long-term, even after she had recovered. She might have been a doctor or an inventor of something great after she finished school. Unfortunately, she had to leave school due to finances and declare bankruptcy. The huge cost of healthcare in the US might have permanently moved her from a high paying wage bracket (200k) to a low-income bracket that regularly uses tax-payer services to survive.
Universal healthcare is good for America. This will change the focus of healthcare in the US to more preventative measures. This will allow people to get treatments for minor illnesses before they become major. People without insurance would wait until it became serious to get treatment in the ER. ERs could not turn them away so they would get an expensive treatment. These lower income people would then not have the funds to pay the bill, so the hospital would have to cover it. These bills then resulted in higher bills for the rest of the patients at the hospital. This would raise the bills and insurance rates for those that had insurance. More healthy Americans also make for better workers and a
better economy. In the long term, it may reduce the demand for government
programs like food stamps.
While universal healthcare for all Americans is good for
America, there may be some issues with this system. Many people are claiming a
significant increase to their insurance costs. Employers are decreasing hours and doing other things to get
around the laws too. I think that
the lower wage paying employers/employees may be hurt more than other people too.
This is not a well-developed plan, but I will discuss an
option that may be better. They
could develop a system that charges people a set rate based upon their salary
rate. Lower income people will pay a low rate and the high-income people will
pay a higher rate. One could maybe have a slightly lower rate for single people
vs families, but an 8 person family would not pay much more if any than a 4
person family with the same income. All money to the plan would maybe go through the government but still have different plans and let people pick them. One could maybe pay a
lower rate for taking a higher deductible or something like this.
The rate an employer paid could maybe be based on the number
of worker hours and their net income.
Make all employers pay this amount. This will be less difficult for the
struggling or small business owners. It would also cut the incentives for employers
that are currently decreasing people’s hours to prevent paying this.
Additionally you may be able to add in some system that will
allow larger companies to provide their own insurance plans. This would add
some sort of competition to the markets.
The companies calculated amount could maybe go directly into this
program. The employees amounts could go through the government and back into
the program (would even out costs of healthcare to all and increase the
competition between insurance companies).
I do not know much about insurance and if this is feasible
or not. Other countries do have similar systems though. I just moved to a European country that has something similar to this. Everyone pays a percentage of their income
directly to the insurance company, and this amount covers your insurance
completely. You can still pick the company that you want. Higher income people
have more choices, but I have heard that there is not a huge difference between
this and the lower income plans. In addition to a huge selection of plans,
there is a huge selection of providers. I have not been to the doctor here, but there are a bunch of blogs comparing this and the US system. These people described similar wait times and care in both countries. They also have things like a lower infant mortality rate and a higher life expectancy than the US, since every person in the country has access to
affordable medical care.