Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Damned Facts

At my usual daily visit to Suburban Guerrilla, I came upon this post. It's based on a post at Huffington Post, a place I don't visit very often. Nonetheless, I decided to click on over because Susie Madrak thought it was worthwhile. Susie was right.

It's on a very interesting study when it comes to health care costs, especially in the long run.

The concept of support for universal health care is taboo among Republicans who scrutinize the Affordable Care Act -- dubbing it the "Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" -- and call for its repeal. But a new UC Irvine study challenges the GOP argument that the health care law is too costly, with data illustrating that health care costs on the whole fall when poorer, uninsured patients are provided with insurance.

"In a case study involving low-income people enrolled in a community-based health insurance program, we found that use of primary care increased but use of emergency services fell, and -- over time -- total health care costs declined," David Neumark, a co-author of the study, said in a release accompanying the findings. ...

Health care spending in the U.S. has been on the rise for years. Americans spent more than three times on health care in 2008 than they spent in the 18 years before, according to a Kaiser report.

Low-income, uninsured individuals tend to rack up exorbitant health-care bills because they often rely on emergency room visits instead of primary care. In the long run, these bills are paid by taxpayers. The Affordable Care Act "is set to extend Medicaid benefits to about 16 million uninsured, low-income adults and children by the end of 2014," according to the study.
[Emphasis added]

While I am not totally pleased by the rather cowardly mess that we got in the ACA because I think the correct answer was Medicare for All, or at the very least a public option, I do admit that some parts of what emerged from Congress have turned out to provide some real healthcare reform. Elimination of "pre-existing conditions" from coverage, extending coverage to children up to age 26, the eventual elimination of that horrendous doughnut hole in Medicare prescription coverage are all good things which put us on the road to decent healthcare for everyone.

Now we have a study which shows that extending insurance coverage to the poor via expanding Medicaid will ultimately save the government money, not drive it into bankruptcy. Of course we won't be hearing about this study from the GOP: it's Obamacare, and that means it is totally evil.

Damned facts.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home