As Reid writes, other countries have made it work with many different kinds of healthcare providers — doctors can work directly for the government, as in the U.K., or not, as in most other rich countries. Hospitals can be for-profit or not. But no one has been able to create a viable system of universal healthcare based on citizens being forced to help insurance companies make a profit.
Moreover, the political ramifications of non-profit healthcare financing go far beyond making it feasible to have a strong individual mandate to buy insurance. It also is a key reason why such systems have much lower costs: “When Aetna or WellPoint declines to pay for a drug or a procedure, the money saved goes to enhance the insurer’s profit, not to pay for another person’s treatment,” Reid points out. “So people are less willing to tolerate cost controls.”
So either Obamacare will include a universally-available, non-profit public option — which in turn would likely eventually become the only option — or it will eventually expire. There is no third way.
Healthcare is all about profits in the United States and accounts for 17.5% of GDP which is 2-3x higher than other countries that offer it FOR FREE to its citizens. If our government was paying for people’s healthcare we’d be able to get a handle on costs. The current system is only seeing costs go up by astronical amounts each year.
It’s time for the US to start seeing if it can mimic other countries’ healthcare models. The argument that the US offers the best healthcare in the world means nothing when the average lifespan in the US is far lower than all other advanced countries. When the people cannot afford proper healthcare, they die younger.