US and the rationing of healthcare

There is a myth going around spread by conservatives among the public that a government administered national health insurance would be a healthcare characterized by rationing of services. This is, according to them, a free market offered an increased choice of healthcare free from rationing. The same toxic lies are spread by notable conservatives like Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and Sally Pipes of Pacific Research Institute. Pipes is the president of this noticeably right wing organization. These organizations spread the lie that free market systems provide a complete choice of healthcare sans rationing.

The present state of healthcare is run by private bodies and is not regulated enough. If there is regulation, it is geared for profit in the healthcare marketplace. The picture is stark when considered that even six years post the ACA passage, about 30 million people continue to remain uninsured. Thousands of the uninsured die every year due to the absence of health insurance. Millions of people are also under-insured and lack access to the necessary care.

Another stumbling block of healthcare are the unaffordable costs and high prices. Health insurance expenses and care together have reached in excess of $25,000 every year for a typical four member family if it is insured by the average employer paid PPO. This expense has doubled over preceding 10 years. This can be a huge burden when it is seen that the average household income now touches $53,000.

There is also the problem of fewer choices and access. Insurers, even within ACA, have a number of ways to restrict choice and also access to care. This includes the high deductible plans and narrow networks sans coverage of the out of network expenses. There are also the issues of higher co-insurance for specialty drugs and the limited definitions of any medical necessity. There is also the denial of services.

It is conclusively proved that countries having universal access offer exhaustive benefits coupled with better value and efficiency. These are given at much lesser costs compared to the US. They also have much better outcomes. Only those services which could be rationed are that which are not cost effective or efficacious. Such services are frequently seen not to be based on any scientific evidence. The problem with the US healthcare system is that the FDA approval process is friendly towards the industry-and not with the patients concerned.

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