The debate last spring regarding American healthcare was truncated and revolved around lack of access not provision of answers to our pressing healthcare needs. In typical modern legislative fashion, years of carefully wrought considerations regarding the strengths and weakness of the healthcare process were swept “under the rug” in the political rush to claim the moral high ground and achieve “reform”. As Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel put so succinctly, ” You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” As is true with so many government decreed “reforms” , the plan passed preserved the worst mechanisms of the previous system, exposing them to an ever larger population, and from a financial standpoint assured a progressive collapse of the segments of the system that are currently working to pay for those that are progressively not.
The modern American healthcare system has evolved into 17% of the GDP of the United States and has for sometime threatened to absorb the available discretionary income of the United States economy, suppressing growth and prosperity. With the recent election, a real debate is finally feasible as the mechanisms of financing “reform” may be carefully reviewed at length. The challenge of Obamacare was not to solve coverage for all Americans, which it failed to do despite the greatly increased expense, but rather, to assure viability of access to all who wanted it at a price we can all afford. The passage of the bill only started the debate and its about to get interesting. Over the next months, the various aspects of financing such an undisciplined reform will come to light in hearings of the House of Representatives, and the discussion to “Repeal” or “Repair” will be the focus of our newly found interest, as expressed in the recent election, in the democratic process.
Nobel Prize winning University of Chicago economist Gary Becker begins to frame the argument: