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Health reforms going nowhere
Every time he promised to negotiate healthcare reforms in public during his two year long campaign, Obama won applause all around. His campaign rhetoric went thus, “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies – they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair... That approach, I think, is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.”
Studies by the Department of Health and Human Services estimate that health spending will grow an average of 6.2% a year in the coming decade, to $4.4 trillion in 2018, which makes the whole issue about healthcare insurance more pertinent. The healthcare bill, if passed, would have required all US citizens’ to have a health insurance and would subsidise premiums for many. This would enable families to cut their medical costs by around $2,500 a year. But the bill has faced many hurdles, especially from lawmakers & an already burdened Treasury.
The malaise in health insurance currently is too deep and malignant, and it all is expounded in the face of some clearly nonchalant insurance plans. For example, in some private plans, women are charged up to 48% more than men for exactly the same medical service. Even a Caesarean section is considered a pre-existing condition. In fact, some plans even consider a victim of domestic abuse as having a pre-existing condition (and thus deny insurance). As per a few studies, lack of health insurance is responsible for more than 48,000 deaths every year in the US. Critics say that the whole industry is now like an organised mafia. If one plays to the hooters gallery, then it’s easy to see that while the private insurance industry is more concerned about (ensuring?) healthcare denial, the CEOs in this sector were pretty well looked after – CEO packages of ten large insurance companies averaged around $11 million in 2008.
So it’s not only about providing American’s with better medical service but also about breaking the existing mafia by private insurance companies. And Obama is clearly fighting a losing battle.
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