The role of government in the U.S. health care system has been contentious long before the recent emergence of Medicare-For-All proposals among Democratic presidential candidates. Advocates of so-called free-market health care have long described government intervention as “un-American” and “socialist.” Their arguments can perhaps be best summarize in the phrase let’s “get government out and let markets work in health care.”
Yet a closer look at the development of the U.S. health care system paints a starkly different picture. Indeed, publicly owned hospitals – that is, hospitals run by local, state, and federal governments – have played an important and substantive role throughout the country’s history. Government has always been extensively involved in the provision of health care in one form or another.
And to the surprise of many today, events could have taken a very different turn. The U.S. could potentially even have ended up with a British-style, government-run health care system. Yet, the country went a different route. Instead of expanding, public hospitals have been closing since the 1960s in large numbers. How come?
In my recent academic paper on the subject, I analyzed the creation and closure of public hospitals in California, the state with one of the most extensive public hospitals system in the nation. My findings indicate that when state and federal governments extended health coverage through programs like Medicaid and Medicare, all but the most well-resourced local governments in turn began closing their hospitals.
My findings bear implications for policy debates today. Advocates for any large-scale health reform effort such as Medicare-For-All should be mindful of the eventual unintended side-effects they may trigger.
There are many different types of health systems depending on the extent and type of government involvement.
In a British-style system, government fully owns, operates, and staffs all health care facilities. Because government provides both funding and services, this system can rightfully be described as socialist.
Source: The US could have ended up with a British-style health care system: Here is why it didn’t : The Conversation
THE BIG IDEA: President Trump couldn’t kill Obamacare legislatively. So now he’s trying to do so in a court of law, hoping that conservative judges might do what a Republican-controlled Congress would not.
In a triumphant mood on Tuesday, Trump touted the Justice Department’s unexpected request for an appellate court to fully strike down the Affordable Care Act.
“The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care,” he told reporters at the Capitol before lunching with GOP senators. “You watch.”
The reactions to his decision from the political and legal worlds highlighted how elusive Trump’s goal could be.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is preparing to hear an appeal in a case challenging the law’s constitutionality after a district court judge in Texas, Reed O’Connor, ruled in December that the law is null and void because Republicans eliminated penalties for not carrying health insurance as part of their 2017 tax bill. That’s what prompted 20 GOP state attorneys general to file the suit.
This isn’t some dry academic debate. Court watchers say it’s within the realm of possibility that the very conservative 5th Circuit could strike down Obamacare in toto.
“I’ve been a student and a watchdog of the 5th Circuit for upwards of 50 years. I have great respect for the court, but the 5th Circuit can be a very wild card,” said Louisiana State University law professor Paul Baier, noting that it was this court that declared the Gun-Free School Zones Act unconstitutional. “Sometimes the 5th Circuit sticks its judicial neck out. … It certainly will depend on the panel.”
Source: The Daily 202: Trump faces many obstacles if he’s serious about trying to make Republicans ‘the party of health care’ – The Washington Post
Progressive groups and lawmakers plan to use a Texas judge’s ruling against ObamaCare to jumpstart their push for “Medicare for all” in the next Congress.
Supporters of a single-payer health system are arguing that now is the time to start moving in a new direction from the Affordable Care Act, in part because they feel the 2010 health law will never be safe from Republican attempts to destroy or sabotage it.
“In light of the Republican party’s assault, a version of Medicare for all is necessary for the future,” said Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at the Center for American Progress. “There are just too many points of vulnerability in the current system.”
The court decision in Texas that invalidates ObamaCare in its entirety came on the heels of sweeping Democratic victories in the midterm elections, a combination that has energized advocates of Medicare for all.
“We need to do everything we can to ensure every single American has access to affordable, quality healthcare. Medicare for all has the potential to do just that as it can reduce the complexity and cost with a single payer health care system,” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D- Mich.), co-chair of the Medicare for All Caucus, said in a statement to The Hill.
Yet the effort could very well create divisions within the Democratic Party, as leaders who want to protect and strengthen the health law are reluctant to completely embrace government-run universal health insurance.
In the House and Senate, leading Democrats have said their priorities should be strengthening ObamaCare, rather than fighting over single payer.
Source: ‘Medicare for all’ advocates emboldened by ObamaCare lawsuit | TheHill
Congress should pay attention to these four impartial ways to save lives and save money when discussing healthcare.
Source: 4 ideas for drastically reducing health care spending – Business Insider
The Senate bill is easy to summarize: It cuts health spending and uses the savings to finance large tax cuts for wealthy Americans and medical companies.
Source: Inside the Health Care Bill: Trump Wanted ‘Heart.’ He Didn’t Get It – NBC News
With so much focus in recent months on the scientifically discredited notion that childhood vaccines cause autism, the real threats to health care and services for people with autism and other disabilities aren’t being given enough attention, argue two leading health policy experts.
“President Donald Trump’s apparent openness to a long-debunked link between vaccines and autism risks encouraging Americans to stop vaccinating their children, posing a serious public health threat,” the researchers write in the March 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. “Meanwhile, renewed attention to disproven theories about autism may be distracting us from growing threats to essential policies that support the health and well-being of people with autism or other disabilities.
Source: Don’t be distracted: The real issues in autism are threats to funding, services, say experts — ScienceDaily
Americans have different views on Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act, even though they are the same thing.
Source: Poll: ‘Obamacare,’ ‘Affordable Care Act’ not the same to many – Business Insider
The Trump administration, with support from the GOP Congress, is likely to tear up the federal social safety net.
Source: America’s concern for the poor is about to be tested – The Washington Post