Obamacare column fails simple fact check

OlympiaApril 28, 2013 

Whether contributing writer Kathleen Rogers’ view of Obamacare is skewed by her employment during the good ol’ days of health care, I can’t say, but her conclusions don’t pass any sniff test.

For 200 years we’ve had the free-market approach to health care she believes will “lower costs through competition, less regulation, broader coverage, and better care.” As for “lower costs,” we pay $8,000 +/- per person; the next highest in the world are all less than 60 percent of that. Put another way we spend 17.6 percent of our GDP on health care; the next dozen nations average less than 11 percent.

As for “broader coverage” we have 40,000 to 50,000 with no health care insurance at all; the next dozen nations have zero uninsured.

As for “better care” the last year WHO ranked national health care systems we were 37th, between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Our infant mortality rates in 2011 were 34th, between Cuba and Malta.

As for “competition” does it really make sense for doctors to compete for your “business?” Doctors with financial interests in diagnostic clinics prescribe 60 percent more tests than those who do not. This costs millions, but does it make us healthier? Over 30 percent of our health care spending is retained by insurance companies. How can moving them out of the cost equation not improve our bang for the buck?

I lived a decade in Europe and saw how health care there worked. If Obamacare leads the US to single-payer, it will be a triumph.

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