Interesting New York Times article today by Thomas Friedman –
The combination of Obamacare regulations, incentives in the recovery act for doctors and hospitals to shift to electronic records and the releasing of mountains of data held by the Department of Health and Human Services is creating a new marketplace and platform for innovation — a health care Silicon Valley — that has the potential to create better outcomes at lower costs by changing how health data are stored, shared and mined. It’s a new industry.
Of course the Affordable Care Act will create more business and jobs. Progressives have been saying this for years.
But we have one party here in the U.S. that encourages people to think in only narrow terms. The GOP says “healthcare costs a lot”. That’s it. And, if that’s the only thing your party tells you, then you’re probably also more likely to believe we shouldn’t do anything about healthcare, because it costs a lot. Simplistic logic leads to simplistic opinions and responses.
In reality, healthcare is much more complex than you’d know from any GOP sound-byte on the issue. But then, that’s pretty normal for GOP sound-bytes.
Making the healthcare system more efficient, requiring insurance companies to actually pay for the care their customers need and have paid for, helping people avoid using the emergency room by treating issues sooner, combined with savings and innovation that will further drive down costs while expanding actual care and services… These things will benefit us many times more in savings (and healthier citizens), than just the initial cost of healthcare.
We build football stadiums knowing that, in spite of the great expense, they’ll help support local business and jobs – right? The same holds true for healthcare in the United States.
Republicans, unfortunately, must never have heard the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish,” because that’s exactly what they’re doing on this and every other topic today. By focusing on the penny they might save* today, they are costing us pounds (dollars) later.
* In reality, Republican politicians have been spending money with at least as much ease and abandon as the other guys. And given the now proven outcomes of all their policies, it’s easy to see they’re far less concerned about savings, than the perception of savings – along with the political boost they can get from short term smoke-and-mirror accounting tricks that last just long enough for them to win an election and then go back to spending Democrat created surpluses and adding to our debt with more corporate welfare that only benefits their top donors.
So, healthcare reform will cost money – but it will save us more in the long run, make us a healthier people and extend our lives, give us the ability to work harder, while creating new businesses and jobs we hadn’t seen before. Not reforming healthcare will cost us more, much more, later – and not just in pounds and dollars, but American lives.