Yesterday's Supreme Court Ruling sets back a long-term viable solution for American health care. But not for the reasons you might think. For-profit insurance companies were at the middle of the entire debate, and they shouldn't have been. Here's what really happened: 1. Some people couldn't afford health care because private companies kept raising rates by 30% per year for the past 10 years 2. Insurance companies were denying existing conditions because it killed their profits. In insurance lingo, profits are what remain after "losses." 3. By insisting that everyone have health insurance, Obamacare brings in more "lives" to the insurance companies. And most importantly, these are mostly young healthy lives that bring down the risk pool (and thus the "loss rate") for health insurance companies. In sum, the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) was a compromise solution, custom-designed for the insurance companies. In short, the government said, "You agree to take on pre-existing conditions, we'll give you millions of young healthy Americans in return." I'm in the minority of doctors. Most MD's want to maintain the status quo. But I think the status quo doesn't work, because the insurance companies not only pit patient against doctor, they also bleed the system of money. Yesterday's ruling prolongs the status quo. It's a Band-Aid solution that appeals to soft-hearted Americans who don't want little Jimmy to be denied coverage for his pre-existing Leukemia. But while the rest of the developed world provides guaranteed health care to all its citizens, Americans continue to act as bickering siblings, stuck on who is going to have to pay for whose healthcare. That's a rotten argument for our nation, not only because it gets in the way of peaceful coexistence among us, but also because our medical care continues to become less productive and more expensive. A National Healthcare System will work, but only once Americans accept the fact that their taxes will be raised in order to pay it. Unfortunately, as long as we continue to have petty arguments, the politicians will fight stupidly for winning our allegiance merely for the sake of winning, and the private health insurance companies will continue to be in control. Get ready for $10,000 individual deductibles and $100 co-pays. It's coming.* ----- Paul Krawitz, M.D., President and C.E.O. Vitamin Science, Inc.
Obamacare Sets Back American Health Care
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 29 June, 2012