Nothing ahead looks promising. Mergers and consolidation will increase costs, limit choices, reduce care, and keep millions from getting any.
Privatization will game Medicare and Medicaid for profit. Insurers will "limit definitions" to cut benefits. Market-based bureaucracy and fragmentation "worse(ns) health outcomes."
ACA won't "hold up." Progressive reform is needed. Universal single-payer alone works. It's high time the world's richest country provided it.
In 1960, healthcare as a percent of GDP was 5.1%. In 2002, it was 15%. In 2011, it was 17.9%. By 2020, it'll exceed 20%.
Between 1960 and 2009, average annual healthcare spending rose from $147 per person to $8,086. It reflected a 55-fold increase.
In inflation-adjusted 2010 dollars, it increased annually from $1,082 to $8,218 - a 7.6-fold rise.
In 1942, Christ Hospital, NJ charged $7 per day for a maternity room. Today it's $1,360.
In 1980, a typical US hospital room cost $127. Today it's multi-fold higher.
A 2011 survey of 11 Ohio hospitals found daily hospital room prices ranged from $688 - $2,425. Cost averaged $1,393. The median price was $1,322.
Obama's Affordable Care Act promises higher costs. Doing so will deprive growing millions of vitally needed care. Many won't get any. Others will get much less than needed. Insurers and other predatory giants will game the system.
They'll charge whatever they wish. Regulatory freedom permits it. They'll take full advantage.
On February 1, Yves Smith headlined "IRS anticipates Cheapest ObamaCare Family Plan will be $20,000 in 2016."
It's the cheapest one for a family of five. At the same time, credits are available for families who "lack affordable coverage." Whatever is provided won't match annually rising costs.
ACA was supposed to lower them. Saying so was a Big Lie. Even many supporters are disenchanted. It's "less of a deal" than they thought.
It wasn't supposed to be. It was a big win for predatory healthcare giants. It was designed that way.
Former CIGNA vice president Wendell Potter said it shifts costs to consumers, offers inadequate or unaffordable access, and forces Americans to pay higher deductibles for less coverage.