Obamacare is a failure. I don’t say that because I have a political bone to pick with President Obama, and I certainly don’t mean it in the way that most Republicans do—that anything that President Obama has done is bad.
Obamacare is a failure because it has not adequately addressed the three problems that plague American health care most: lack of access to care, the exceedingly high cost of care, and the poor quality of health care in America. The best that can be said for Obamacare is that it has helped some people. But the reality is that it has not helped many others, and many are even worse off in the era of Obamacare. The most accurate way to look at it is that Obamacare has changed the winners, the losers, what is good, and what is bad about American health care. But until everybody wins and what is bad is fixed, at least in large part, we will continue to have a failed system.
But the answer is not just to repeal Obamacare. What we had prior to Obamacare, and what we will have if we just repeal it is disaster. And if the Republicans have their way, and do away with Medicare, we will have a huge disaster. Medicare is not perfect, not by a long shot, but it currently provides the best in American health care to the people who need it the most. To throw seniors into the commercial insurance pool, with only “vouchers” to help them afford their premiums, but nothing real to protect them from financial disaster and the abuses inherent to the current insurance system, as the Republicans like Paul Ryan propose, is the worst idea by far. It will kill seniors in droves. It is a terrible idea.
What we need is not Obamacare. But we need far more than just to repeal Obamacare.
What America needs NOW is health care for everyone, health care that is affordable, with reasonable limits on all costs, and access to a full basket of necessary care without any significant limitations on that care or roadblocks to receiving that care.
This is what must define any approach to reforming our broken American health care system. It is one of the essential building blocks of a successful American society. But our current crop of “leaders” has been unable or unwilling to make this happen. Many Americans suffer and die as a result.