Special interest groups obstruct health care

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 4 2014 | 1:33 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:09 am in

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health reform could have been much better if Congress had sensibly cooperated when it was created.

Special interest groups (representing some but not all physicians, hospitals, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies) and their paid or influenced minions (including members of both parties) significantly obstructed President Barack Obama’s plans to create much better health care reform.

It was the stated intention of these opponents of health care reform to undermine and dilute the ACA bill so that it would fail or falter if it was passed. This partial or complete failure would give these opponents ammunition to criticize Obama and support their own political and financial interests.

More ideal health care reform could fairly limit costs, provide good health care (including great preventive health care) for all Americans. Fifty million Americans do not have health care insurance or access to routine or preventive health care.

The overall cost of health care in the United States is about twice as much as any other developed country with universal health care (19 percent of GDP in the United States versus less than 11 percent in all the other countries). Universal health care in those other developed countries is good but not perfect. There are 1 million medical bankruptcies yearly in the United States versus almost none in all the developed countries with universal health care.

We could still achieve reasonably good, cost-effective health care for all Americans if we overcome the obstruction of special interest groups as other developed countries have done.

John Macatee

Iowa City


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