To the editor:
Health care cost is the most expensive of any developed industrial nation. The average of 33 industrial developed nations is $3,086/per capita, our cost is $8,233 (excess of $5,147). That was data from 2012. Insurers and providers have raised their rates in anticipation of ACA passing. Yet there is no measurable difference in outcome, or technology. In fact, in some cases the outcome is worse. More than 20% of our GDP is used on often poor quality, duplicated, fraudulent, excessive use of technology and profit satisfaction. Yet there are some 50 million with no health care and our life expectancy is less.
Problems with wait times and shortages were present 15 years ago and are getting worse. Nursing shortages and primary care shortages are a chronic problem.
The goal of the ACA is to control the rising cost of health care, improve quality, improve distribution, improve customer satisfaction, improve accountability, while reducing the number of uninsured (some 30 million).
Much has already been done to show that it works in states like Massachusetts and California. The increase in Medicare Part A&B was much less in 2013 than expected. The average savings on Medicare Part D was $627, even in Florida. The Medicare Trust Fund solvency was increased by 12 years to 2024.
There is much more that will help everyone. It is just a shame that those people who hate Obama do not want the public to know the benefits.
More than 200 people die every day in America without care, a much larger number die every day because of late, inadequate care and no follow up.
We need to get the truth out. It is just that those who get more press or radio time are given the advantage do not know the truth and those who know the truth are not given much of any time.
Just wait and see what happens if the ACA is not rolled out successfully or by some chance the opposition blocks it. All the gain made so far will be lost. Preventative care is now free, the donut hole will not be closed, and the deficit reduction of $109 billion (2012-2022) and the 1 trillion over the next decade will be lost. Health care quality improvement and pay for improvement will be lost. The rate of rise in health care cost will be exponential. Insurance companies will ration care as they see fit. Insurers now are required to use 80% of your dollar to care for you. If there is no ACA they will continue to make excessive profits. They can't charge for preexisting conditions, they can't charge women 3 to 5 times the cost for men.
The ACA should be implemented intact. The President should not allow Congress to extract any part. The tax on medical devices should remain. This helps to bring some equality to the playing field, just as the tax on Cadillac policies, the tax on high income earners and the tax on earning. These will help to pay for the insurance for poor, elderly, and the unemployed (in lieu of expensive Cobra).
Our health care system is a cancer in this great Nation. The ACA will help to cure it. All those who say it will not help them are blind or in denial.
Lewis Robinson, M.D.