Controlling health care costs

By Richard P. Holm, MD

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the ACA or Obamacare, could have been named the “Access and Cost Act.” It was successful in “protecting patients” by guaranteeing access. . . making insurance available for more than 20 million people who were not able to get insurance prior to the ACA. The second part of the name, “affordable care,” referring to cost, has not been as successful, however.

Politicians have said, and this is correct, “Since the ACA was implemented, increases in health spending have slowed.” Personally, I do not find this statement reassuring, when looking at the enormous cost of health care in the United States. We spend $3.2 trillion per year for health care, which is twice the average cost per person of the next ten most expensive countries and more than five times the outrageous $600 billion we spend per year on the defense budget.

 

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