One reason for the high cost and poor results of the American medical system has been the convoluted way that Americans get health insurance, and the very large number of mostly low-income and poor people who until recently had little or no access to insurance. As one might expect, this has contributed a great deal to the problem of persistent poverty. However, the recent attempt to address this problem and provide insurance to everyone is an example of the basic difficulty in doing piecemeal reform on any one part of the Interlock.
As many people have pointed out, “Obamacare” is primarily a reform of health insurance, not healthcare. It will do little or nothing to address the long-term problems of declining health and exploding costs. By giving millions more people access to an already overloaded system, it will make the existing delivery problems worse, while making it much harder to resolve our long-term debt problems at the state and national levels.
Healthcare has already grown to more than 18% of our GDP and more than 21% of the federal budget. If this explosion in medical costs is allowed to continue, it will eventually bankrupt the nation and the end result will be less and lower quality health care, not more and better health care, a reminder of why it can be dangerous to try to solve problems in isolation.
Next page: Interactions – Health
Previous page: Very expensive medicine
Back to Health