Thursday, October 3, 2013

What exactly are the Republicans trying to preserve?

In a continued attempt to explain (and help my own understanding), I'll highlight a few metrics comparing our health system in the US versus those in other countries. Remember, congressional Republicans have shut down the federal government to preserve this system.

The charts come from an International Federation of Health Plans study via the venerable WonkBlog

Recall here that most (if not all) of the other countries here provide health coverage 
for all of their citizens; the US does not.

Sweet. So you're telling me the US pays more overall to cover a smaller portion of our population? Sure looks like it. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times (out of Britain), puts it best:
Is the US a functioning democracy? This week legislators decided to shut down a swath of the federal government rather than allow an enacted health law go into operation at the agreed moment. They may go further; if they do not vote to raise the so-called “debt ceiling”, they risk triggering default…. If the opposition is prepared to inflict such damage on their own country, the restraint that makes democracy work has gone. Why has this happened? What might be the result? What should the president do? The first question is the most perplexing. The Republicans are doing all of this in order to impede a modest improvement in the worst healthcare system of any high-income country. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”) is modelled on one introduced in 2006 in Massachusetts by then governor Mitt Romney. Its apparently criminal aims are to cover 32m uninsured people and ensure coverage of those with pre-existing conditions. True, the programme is complex. But it builds on a defective system.
Can someone please explain what good the government shutdown accomplishes? I really want to learn! Any Republican apologists out there?


  1. I hear you. I would be more compassionate towards the GOP if they would put forward their own plan for solving the healthcare issue, instead of just stamping everything in sight. Socialized medicine is not perfect but it's a helluva lot better than Americas profit driven mess. The ACA is likewise not perfect but a step in the right direction.

    Political theater at the expense of the middle class is getting very old.

  2. For sure! Mike Lee and others just looking to kill the ACA should be required (by constituents, say) to explain how they would provide health coverage for the sick and poor who're not covered by Medicaid. Hope you guys are doing well!