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GOP fears success of Obamacare

To the editor:

From its inception through the current phase in process, the Affordable Health Care Act has been under steady assault by various conservatives. The fear mongering now being used to bash Obamacare is a variation on the prior story line used to discredit Social Security and Medicare.

The basic reason why we now have Obamacare is because our traditional free enterprise approach to health care delivery has failed badly. The many horror stories created by our health insurance industry, with its pre-existing conditions, etc.,etc., are just part of the complex mess. A Time Magazine, 3-4-13, cover story “Bitter Pill” describes the on-going rip-off that many hospitals, medical device makers, drug companies and various health care providers are involved in. For example, hospitals may have a “charge master” system that sets prices for various procedures. It is like a manufacturer’s suggested retailed price, only it is more like pricing luxury items or what the market will bear. Then insurance companies discount these prices.

Researchers at Dartmouth College have been studying Medicare payments around the country and asking why a hospital charges twice what it should for a procedure like a standard gall bladder operation. Many traditional fee-for-service providers look at the gall bladder in room 207 as a revenue source. So every test is ordered, ever aspirin is billed for. Costs go up, outcomes are often poor, which in turn demands more treatment.

Fortunately there many humanitarians in health care who are making a difference. They focus on client well-being rather than just the money. There is a growing number of continuum of care model systems like Mayo Clinic which delivers less costly, yet more effective health care.

Among other things, Obamacare is demanding cost-effective outcomes. Medicare is setting realistic prices. This is very threatening to those invested in the status quo. The Republican Obamacare bashers are very fearful that this new emerging health care system will work well.

Mike Beebe


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