Monday, January 23, 2012

Will The High Quality Of US Healthcare Decline As ObamaCare Inevitably Fails?

The comment I posted to The Wall Street Journal, "Should Everyone Be Required to Have Health Insurance?"
Most of the uninsured fall into the following categories. They are either 18-24 years old, non-citizens, the rich who are self-insured, people who are enrolled in insurance through their job or privately but are in a waiting period before benefits kick in, or people who are eligible for state or federal medical programs but have not enrolled, such as medicaid, chip, etc.

The percentage of medically uninsured individuals in the US has remained relatively constant for 30 years and probably longer, at around 14-16 percent of the US population, despite outreach efforts to increase enrollments in federal and state programs.

The people who have no alternatives and cannot afford insurance, what we think of as uninsured, make up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the often-cited total of uninsured. We are talking about 5 percent or less of the US population that need some backstop coverage. There was never a need for ObamaCare. There are other, much less intrusive solutions for providing medical care to this small group.

The real problem facing the US is that the US government cannot afford to keep paying the costs of free healthcare because its costs are rising faster than inflation and because the workforce-retiree balance is shifting to fewer workers and more retirees, making Medicare unfundable as it is.

ObamaCare does not solve the problem of runaway medical costs. The mandate will not solve that problem. There are not enough uninsured people to make medical care affordable as it is configured in the US.

Price controls and rationing never work. Obamacare will fail, The question is will it cause the high quality of US medical care to decline as it fails?

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