By Ted Herman
The Journal News (LoHud.com, N.Y.), Letters, Aug. 6, 2013
Re “Young people, employers lose in Obamacare,” Aug. 4 Commentary:
The young, employers, and frankly, all of us, are losing out in our broken health-care system, but not because of the issues raised by the writers from the Heritage Foundation, an organization that consistently opposes progressive governmental solutions to America’s most pressing societal challenges.
The key flaw in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that it preserves the private insurance-based model for financing health care in the U.S. — an approach that’s too expensive and wasteful, and one that has left millions of families exposed to crippling medical debt or without access to adequate services. These inequities undermine the health of our communities and the economic health of our nation.
To its credit, new rules under the ACA expand coverage options and outlaw some of the cruelest practices that have left individuals without coverage when they most need it. However inadequate and expensive, ACA offers essential protection for many who previously fell into the worst gaps in our system.
But millions will continue to pay dearly for the illusion of adequate coverage as they confront the harsh reality of having to allocate a disproportionate share of their income to pay for expensive premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, instead of paying their rent or putting food on the table.
Under ACA, the untenable administrative waste associated with private insurance will continue to be baked into the rising cost of American health care.
Alternatively, the U.S. Medicare system, remade to cover people of all ages, could save more than a half-trillion dollars in the first year of enactment alone — thereby providing excellent health care for everyone, for far less than we currently spend.
If you’re looking for substantive change, get behind H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and co-sponsored by 45 other members of Congress.
The writer lives in Hasting-on-Hudson.