Sunday, December 11, 2016

Conservatives Manufactured New Fear: Having Health Care may be worse than going without.

I just came across the amazing way embolden Trumpian Republicans are now making the case for what will be a huge number of Americans losing their health care coverage after "repeal and replace."

Example #1: Did you know; the liberal obsession requiring health insurance is worse than having no health care insurance at all? This is just a prelude to, and excuse for the skyrocketing health care costs to come under Trump, and people everywhere losing their insurance. The Federalist: 
The liberal fixation—some would call it an obsession—over the number of people with health insurance comes despite evidence suggesting insurance coverage does not necessarily equate with access or improved health outcomes. Over the past 40 years, 90 percent of the growth in safety net spending has come in the form of higher spending on health programs. 
Health care is a waste of time; just go to school, travel smart and eat right:
That spending could have been more effective in alleviating poverty by improving the education system, changing transportation patterns, or enhancing nutritional options in poor communities, all of which also could foster better health outcomes. But because liberals remain singularly focused on the number of Americans with insurance cards, that’s where they want to focus all the federal government’s time and energy.
Upside down Obama Promises: Expanding coverage meant reducing the number of uninsured, and that's what the ACA and its marketplaces promoted. Not if you listen to Republicans now...
During his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama didn’t promise to reduce the number of uninsured by a certain amount. He did, however, promise to cut the average family’s health insurance costs and premiums by an average of $2,500 per year. On that count, his health law failed miserably.
It didn't fail. Tax credit subsidies reduced 80% of those buying insurance on Wisconsin's exchange. I save over $3,000:

Get ready for it...here it comes:
Insurance Does Not Equal Better Health: The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment compared a group of individuals selected from a random lottery to enroll in Medicaid with similarly situated individuals who did not win the lottery and did not enroll in coverage. It found that Medicaid coverage brought no measureable improvement in physical health outcomes. Likewise, prior studies have suggested that, for health outcomes Medicaid coverage may be worse than having no health insurance at all.
Example #2: Who Needs Health Care: When the news came out that life expectancy may have maxed out, losing a whole month, clever anti-health care zealots saw an opening.
After decades of improvement, life expectancy in America is no longer on the rise. So we read this week in the Wall Street Journal, under the headline "Nation's Death Rate Rises as Progress Against Heart Disease Stalls," and in USA Today's dispatch, "Has U.S. life expectancy maxed out? First decline since 1993." In 2015 American life expectancy actually declined, year-on-year, by about a month, shrinking to 78.8 years. 

In story after story, we read about demographers and medical experts puzzling over what's gone wrong. Missing from all these accounts is a single word that ought to command unblinking attention: Obamacare.

Is it sheer coincidence that the timeline of the flat-lining and decline of American life expectancy overlaps neatly with the enactment, rollout, and implementation of Obamacare? Demography is a complex field, and mortality statistics may reflect many factors. Let's hope Trump sticks to his word. That would be a legacy worth honoring, not least because it's a good bet that a lot of Americans would enjoy longer lives in which to honor it.

No comments: