Well, most of the problem is we have a population that Faux News has frightened so badly they don't dare remove their noses from the corporate rectum for fear they'll be turned into starving socialists like everyone in Europe, Japan and Australia.
We could have had a single-payer system, with the right to private practice of medicine and the right to purchase private medical services guaranteed by law. The poor could have been taken care of, the middle class could have kept their existing insurance, and the rich could have still bought whatever level of care they wanted to pay for. Instead, thanks to fearmongering and subservience to the elite, we got Obamacare.
I really don't want a single-payer system. You may want public insurance, but I've seen public schools, public swimming pools, public toilets, and so on.
Once you set things up so that the masses have a particular good for free, it becomes a piece of crap, while the elites get private schools, private swimming pools, and so on. It widens the gap between rich and poor.
Democrats talk about wanting to fix these things, but when they send their own children to private schools, do you think they're going to work very hard to fix the single payer system so you don't have "death panels?"
Obamacare is what we get when rampant (and rabid) partisanship is more important than coming together and building a consensus that works best for the country at large.
Problem is.. I don't see how we can fix the partisan attitude that both parties seem hopelessly mire.
See, it's worse than that. We have the Supreme Court backing the idea that the government can tax you for not purchasing a service.
If you don't like big oil, imagine being taxed for not buying oil.
If you don't like big business, imagine being taxed for not shopping at a particular store.
If you like abortions, imagine being taxed for getting them.
That's the door that's been opened up. We've already got the overuse of executive orders to the point where Romney talks about just sending a waiver to the health care bill to all 50 states via executive order if he's elected. That's what we've got from executive orders being abused.
With a two party system, it's very easy to enter a nuclear option where one group claims, "Nobody minds if the other group did X, so we'll do it too." The party who did it first has outrage but without any moral standing, and the party in power just thinks of it as revenge, so it becomes common. The only real way to stop these things is when the first guy does it.
Yeah, I remember a single payer government program was part of the original proposal. Democrats fought hard to keep it, but it was just too Socialist. It would give the government too much control over healthcare. There would be government death panels. No one would've been forced to use said program, but still.... Although, to be fair, Medicare is a pretty muchly fucked up mess right now. It's only slightly better than nothing.
We had 60 Democrats in the Senate. 60, which is how many you need to overcome a filibuster. It's easy to blame the Republicans, but when the Republicans can't even argue because you can vote to shut them up, then it's not their fault.
And in some ways, we actually do have death panels:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/psa-blood-tests-prostate-screening_n_999382.htmlWASHINGTON — Those PSA blood tests that check for prostate cancer do more harm than good and healthy men should no longer receive them as part of routine cancer screening, a government panel is recommending.
People probably remember similar things with mammograms, but enough women spoke up that the government panel shut up.
Now, you actually go and talk to your doctor, and they do want these tests. They want to be able to check if you have prostate cancer or not. If you have a hunch that you have prostate cancer, certainly you want to catch it at its early stages.
Here's an article written well after the government panel thing which gives some basics about how useful they actually are: http://www.renalandurologynews.com/psa-screening-cuts-risk-of-metastatic-prostate-cancer/article/247438/
Insurance companies, however, can simply point to these government surveys and decide that all PSAs are frivolous, and not pay for them. Take a look at the huge number of people denied by Medicare and tell me that a single-payer system wouldn't do the same thing.
Not everyone is going to have to pay for the insurance, though. If an individual's gross income is 133% or less of the federal poverty line ($14,856 per year), then they're not required to pay anything. You'd have to sign up for Medicaid, but that would be at no cost because part of the plan also greatly expands Medicaid coverage. If your income is up to 400% of the poverty line ($44,680), then you're eligible for reduced rates on a sliding pay scale.
I'll keep that in mind if I can't get a job soon. Thanks.