Health Care Reform A Moral Victory for the U.S.?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Despite President Obama’s congressional address on health care, many Americans still lack a true understanding of the proposed changes and what a final bill might look like.
According to Jack Newhouse, Ph.D., assistant professor of health services at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, it seems that Congress wants the impossible.
“It wants to lower health care costs, increase access and reduce the number of uninsured Americans, but do this without any tax increases or government-funded programs,” he explains. “The big question, of course, is where the money come from for health reform if there are no new taxes or new incentives to reduce costs by provider organizations. The short answer is that Congress wants the right end goals, but does not seem ready to make the difficult choices to do this.”
Those admirable end goals, Newhouse says, include reducing costs and increasing access.
“The current health care system is incredibly expensive, over $5,000 per man, woman and child in the U.S., with health care results that are only modestly ranked among the top industrialized nations of the world,” he adds. “We as a nation are not receiving very effective service, but it is the most costly on the planet.”
While the details still need to be hammered out, and it’s likely that a new bill will only scratch the surface of health care reform in the U.S., Newhouse believes the effort is well worth the debate and struggle.
“There would be a moral, ethical victory with this proposed health reform,” he believes. “Having millions of Americans uninsured in this country is something of a national disgrace. The proposed reforms would significantly reduce this situation and allow the United States to join all of the other first world, industrialized nations that have solved this problem.”