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.


LeeWenzel's picture
LeeWenzel 3 years 50 weeks ago

Better than Medicare-for-all would be to skip having even a single payer or retrospective payment system with all the invoicing and administrative complexity. I say invoice rather than claims because without premiums to match individual risk, even employer plans are entitlement programs rather than insurance. Why can't I join a major health provider system and be eligible for services the same way my children attend an educational institution without invoices for every instructional intervention? We need to go back to the Nixon era of Group Health and the original health maintenance organizations.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 3 years 50 weeks ago

Once we have the public option, I wonder how long Fox News will be able to convince viewers that paying four times more for the same thing is a victory over that demon called democratic socialism???...the same demon the rest of the world already embraces with much gratitude.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 50 weeks ago

I can't understand the fear in "the land of the free" about healthcare!

What you have now is disgusting for an economy that is supposed to be world leading?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 50 weeks ago
PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 3 years 50 weeks ago

President Clinton is correct, private for-profit health insurance makes no sense. Economist refer to the cost of operating a health insurance company, including its cost of sales, marketing, processing claims, auditing, and profits, as friction. Those costs are more than 30% of the premiums they collect. None of those costs pay for medical services. That means at least 30% of the revenue collected by for-profit insurance are overhead. The overhead cost for Medicare is less than 4%, that is what makes the current plan crazy. Insurance makes sense for automobiles and homes because most drivers don't have claims and most homeowners don't have claims. However, almost every person has some health care exenses whether for an injury or an illness. Routine check ups to prevent illness also costs money. Doctors must employ coders whose sole purpose is to process claim forms. Health insurance is a scam.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 3 years 50 weeks ago

Hephaestus: Democratic Socialism is by far the purest form of "We the People" yes I was attempting to be sarcastic!

Citizens in the United States continually vote against their own best interests because of corpse media propaganda, like the kind of right wing crap aired by Fox News. Our media made it possible for the fascists to overthrow our government....and they have.

Valentinus's picture
Valentinus 3 years 50 weeks ago

Does anyone actually believe that Hillary will fight vigorously for a public option in Obamacare? I don't - just as I don't believe her when she says she is will oppose trade deals like the TPP, or that she will get tough on Wall Street, or that she will pursue a just foreign policy.

I can't support Clinton. I don't vote for Republicans, especially Republicans who pretend to be Democrats.

Ric in Nashville 3 years 50 weeks ago

No matter the take on the Affordable Care Act, citizens would much rather base their beliefs on rumors and anecodotal evidence to make choices at the ballot box. That's so much easier than researching issues. In high school current events, we were taught to read more than one source to form an informed decision. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, grocery shoppers were "forced" to know headlines at the checkout line from Time, Newsweek, USN&WR covers.

In the 19th century, Karl Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses. In the 21st century, entertainment is the opiate of the masses.

KCRuger's picture
KCRuger 3 years 49 weeks ago

@hilipHenderson: You've just identified why health should have no relationship with insurance at all. Insurance is designed to pool risks to avoid catastrophic costs related to events which almost never happen. The more frequent the event, the less able any form of insurance is to act as intended. It just becomes a fraudulent business model that is sold by those who can profit by its sale. Health should be a means-tested welfare program, as should all other basic needs, like food and housing.

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