Here's What's Crazy About Obamacare
Bill Clinton has done it again -- or has he?
Barely a month has gone by this election cycle without the former president and so-called "Explainer-in-Chief" running his mouth and causing a headache for his wife's presidential campaign.
He's lashed out at Black Lives Matter protesters, bashed Bernie Sanders supporters, and generally made a nuisance of himself by saying the wrong thing about the wrong policy at the wrong place and time.
The latest incident occurred on Monday at a rally in Michigan.
During a discussion about healthcare reform, Bill appeared to call Obamacare "the craziest thing in the world."
Obviously, those comments sounded really, really bad, which is why Republicans have jumped on them to make the case for repealing Obamacare altogether and replacing it with whatever joke of a Heritage Foundation white paper they're passing off as healthcare reform now.
But here's the thing: as poorly worded as his remarks were, Clinton wasn't really bashing Obamacare as much as he was pointing out that it has some flaws that need to change.
That's abundantly clear if you watch the full clip of what he said
In other words, Obamacare works well for a lot of people but will never totally fix the problem.
And why is that?
Easy -- it's because Obamacare, for all the good things it does, like do away with discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, still keeps in place the for-profit health insurance system.
So in a way, Bill Clinton is right about Obamacare being crazy, just not in the way Republicans are saying.
He's right about Obamacare being crazy because the for-profit health insurance it relies upon (and arguably entrenches) is itself crazy.
Not only is it expensive, it's also wildly inefficient. For example, according to a recent study conducted by Bloomberg, for example the United States had the 50th least-efficient healthcare system among the 55 countries surveyed. Estimates of how much waste is generated by this system every year are as high as $735 billion.
The American health industry also doesn't do much to keep us healthy. Despite spending more on healthcare than the citizens of any other developed nation, we Americans have lower life expectancy and worse health outcomes than the citizens of smaller Northern European countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
We also have much higher rates of medical debt, something that's virtually unheard of in many countries with truly universal healthcare systems.
So if Americans pay more and get less from their privatized healthcare system, who's actually benefiting?
The CEOs, of course, people like United Healthcare chief executive, whose 2014 total compensation was $66 million, including $45 million in stock options.
If you're look for an example of craziness, you really couldn't find any better example than the American healthcare system.
Luckily, there's any easy solution.
It's called for Medicare for all, or, as I like to call it, "Medicare Part E."
All we need to do is take the Medicare program that's worked so well for decades and dropped the eligibility age down to zero.
This is what Bernie Sanders supports, and it's what makes the most sense given the current situation.
It's the goal we should all strive for.
But in the meantime, we should also get behind Hillary Clinton's call for a public option within Obamacare.
Republicans are right about the public option: it is a Trojan horse for single-payer medicine -- and that's a good thing!
Once people realize how much better "government" healthcare really is, they'll flock to the public option and kill the private insurance industry once and for all.
Good riddance, if you ask me.