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How the latest effort to repeal Obamacare would affect millions

A step backward … and not addressing the real issues

In my reading, Graham-Cassidy, just like all its predecessors, does little to fix the problems of the American health care system.

Our system is generally of low quality. Medical errors kill more than 250,000 Americans each year, making it the third leading cause of death. Prescription errors alone are responsible for more than 7,000 deaths. Virtually the entire developed world, and many less-developed countries, are ahead of us with regard to infant mortality. The list goes on.

Despite these obvious shortcomings, our health care system is also, by far, the most expensive system in the world. We spend more than 17 percent of our GDP, or well over $ 9,000 per person, on health care. This compares to 10 percent and $ 3,700 for Japan, 11 percent and $ 4,900 for Germany, and 9 percent and $ 3,300 for the United Kingdom.

And yet, even after the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act, and after spending more money from the public’s purses than all but two countries, our uninsurance rates just inched below 10 percent, and more than 28 million Americans are without insurance.

Indeed, we do not even cover all children in this country, although the rate of insurance from children reached a historic high of 95 percent.

With low quality, high costs and lack of universal coverage, much needs to be improved about the American health care system. Unfortunately, Graham-Cassidy as currently written does nothing to improve quality, and it does nothing to reduce the underlying drivers of excessive costs. Indeed, it reverses the significant progress achieved under the ACA in offering coverage to all Americans.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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