Tuesday, December 15, 2009

That Was Then & This Is Now

That Was Then…And This Is Now

That Was Then:
Republican President Nixon told a press conference in July of 1969: “We face a massive crisis in health care. Unless action is taken within the next two or three years….we will have a breakdown in our medical system.” An article in Fortune magazine at the time, titled “$60 billion crisis” warned that the American health care system stood “on the brink of crisis.” That was when the national health bill was a mere $60 billion. Even so, skyrocketing medical costs were pricing health care out of reach to most Americans, and medical bankruptcies were on the rise.

At the same time (1970’s) articles were revealing that for all the investment in technology, hospitals, medical specialties and sub-specialties, medical-related expenses, etc. health care in America was not as good as health care in most other industrialized countries; i.e.: America had higher rates of infant mortality and lower life expectancy.

And This Is Now:
A Democratic President, Barack Obama, called “health care reform the single most important thing we can do for America's long-term fiscal health. That is a fact.”

What was $60 billion ($1900/second) in health care costs in 1970 ballooned into $230 billion by 1980, $2.6 trillion by 2006 and is anticipated to reach $ 4.3 trillion ($139,000/second) by 2017. The consequences are already catastrophic.

In addition, things have only gotten worse:

More than 50% of all personal bankruptcies are related to medical bills. Every 30 seconds in the United States, someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem

America ranks 180th of 224 nations in infant mortality

The only solution:

For decades, Congress has consistently failed to take any effective actions to restrain the uncontrolled and runaway costs of medical care.

The ONLY solution is for Congress to break the virtual monopoly that the insurance-pharmaceutical-medical industrial complex has on health care delivery and re-imbursement.
The only effective way to do this is for Congress to enact health care reform, creating a public option to compete with Big Insurance, erasing Big Insurance’s longstanding and privileged exemption from anti-trust laws.

With each passing day, the economic and political power of the special interests only grows. Any plan that does not include a public option is a failed plan from the inception. And, we cannot afford to fail.

1 comment:

gramma said...

Read NYT editorial "Million Dollar Man" and instead of being undone, he still rules.(Lieberman)
Why doesn't Obama take a strong public stand for what he said he wanted to be included in the health care bill?