Obamacare – The Good, the Bad and the Missing Puts Health Reform in Perspective

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A new eBook on Obamacare neither extols its virtues nor condemns it as a “government takeover of healthcare”. It instead explores why Obamacare won’t be enough to solve America’s deep-rooted medical crisis – a crisis described as not just financial but a safety threat the public doesn’t fully appreciate. It also contrasts Obamacare with deregulated free-market approaches advocated by its opponents – with head-to-head comparisons with Governor Romney’s healthcare plan - as well as more disruptive solutions the book argues are needed to bring our healthcare costs into alignment with the rest of America's economy.

As many Americans may die because they gain access to health insurance under Obamacare as die from the lack of it.

There’s no shortage of opinions about 2010’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) - or Obamacare - especially as we near what may be its ultimate referendum with this November’s presidential election. But a new eBook on the subject –Obamacare – The Good, the Bad & the Missing – takes a highly analytic approach to both its strengths and weaknesses.

While critical of Obamacare for not going “far enough, fast enough” given the magnitude of the crisis, it finds it vastly superior to the deregulated free - market alternative advanced by Governor Romney – which the book suggests will “pour fuel on the fire” of our medical misspending. It cites the experience of the country’s most deregulated states, which generally score poorly for healthcare costs and quality (a list of “Rip-Off States” is offered to drive home the point).

To further support this conclusion, the author includes the attached graph documenting that virtually ALL the increases in America’s healthcare costs have occurred under less regulated Republican administrations.

This hardly qualifies the book as a defense of Obamacare, however. While it finds it better than its free-market alternative, it also suggests that “More than insurance needs reform” and that “As many Americans may die because they gain health insurance under Obamacare as die from the lack of it”.

The reasoning is that more Americans will be exposed to medical errors responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. This dwarfs the number dying from lack of health insurance, according to John Lynch - the book’s author.

In addition to comparing Obamacare to Romney’s free-market alternative, the book also compares it to the more fundamental and “disruptive” reforms it suggests are needed to realign medical spending with America’s economy.

According to Lynch, “While Obamacare goes further than Governor Romney would in addressing the flaws in our delivery of healthcare, both approaches focus too much on health insurance and too little on healthcare delivery - where most of our medical misspending occurs. Our healthcare costs will double by the time the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that Obamacare encourages have meaningful impact – while Romney would rely on private insurers to change healthcare delivery, something they’ve failed at to date...

But we need to have realistic expectations of what Obamacare can actually achieve over the next 5-10 years. It won’t be enough to avoid a doubling of our current healthcare costs. And with continued cost-shifting to employees and consumers, many will see their current healthcare costs triple in that time frame.”

The book’s divided into three parts:

  •     Obamacare vs. Its Free-Market Alternative - This analysis of both Obamacare and why free-market theory doesn’t apply to healthcare (see attached Chapter 4 – “Free-Market Deregulation Will Add Fuel to the Fire”) ends with a comparison table of the two approaches (also attached);
  •     Implementing Obamacare– These chapters review obstacles to a smooth implementation process, including a chapter devoted to the media’s role (see attached Chapter 8 – “Media Wars – Shaping Public Opinion”, ending with a video link to Rachel Maddow’s interview with Jon Stewart about the media’s increasing tendency to take sides in issues like healthcare reform); and
  •     What Would REAL Health Reform Look Like? – A review of the kind of disruptive measures needed to make a faster and stronger impact on America’s medical misspending while expanding access to more of its uninsured and underinsured.

The book links to a handful of videos explaining various aspects of the ACA and why fundamental change in America’s healthcare system is so urgently needed in the first place.

The book ends with a discussion of end-of-life care and the need to get beyond “death panel” sloganeering to address this crucial and sensitive issue if we’re to gain control of our healthcare costs in America.

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