Tag Archives: Obamacare

Health Care Reform without Tears, Part 3: Private health insurance

by Samuel Metz, Contributing Writer

Part two of this series left readers with the unhappy prospect of an Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) failing to achieve universal access, lower costs or better health. What about our private health insurance industry? Many individuals and organizations advocate unfettered competition among insurance companies on a nationwide basis, releasing them from the jungle of regulation created by 50 individual states. Free market competition brought down the costs of flat-screen televisions. Can’t it do the same for health care?

There is some foundation for this position. After all, most central Europeans finance health care with private insurance companies and their health is better than ours while spending half of what we do.

The flaw in this proposition is in vocabulary. European “Private health insurance” resembles American “Private health insurance” the way European football does to American football. Different games, different goals, different rules. Continue reading

Health care reform without tears: What’s the least I need to know?

ImageBy Samuel Metz, Contributing Columnist

Public discussions of health care reform send most people ducking under chairs and rushing for exits. Who can blame them? Our health care system is hideously complex. A flurry of opinions swirl from all parts of the political spectrum; some seem reasonable, others preposterous, and many simply make our heads ache.

This article offers a guide to the perplexed — the simplest a introduction to health care reform you will encounter. When finished, your new understanding may give you the confidence to discuss reform intelligently without fear of embarrassment.

In this first part, we start with basics. Why do we need reform? We need it because Americans spend twice as much as people in other countries, and yet our public health outcomes rank nearly last among industrialized nations, and our families’ health and finances are being devastated. Continue reading