ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Cure For Obamacare-A Little Common Sense

Updated on August 30, 2014

Healthcare in America

As the richest country in the world, American healthcare is not even a distant second to other developed countries. The United States poor and uninsured receive minimal care within the structures of our current policy. State senators and representatives scream across an invisible fence, creating a division of fiscal responsibility versus social necessity. Angry words spew from the lips of frothing mouths: “Everyone deserves quality care! It is a basic right, and should not be disputed in this great nation!” “You can’t have what you can’t pay for! Socialized medicine leads to government rationing!” is the reply. Pinned between the politics are the people. Doctors eager for their patients’ health, but desperate to pay rising administrative costs and liability insurance, ply their trade with more eagerness to avoid a lawsuit than to treat the symptoms with any sort of logic. Many citizens are tied to their jobs, afraid to venture out on their own because of the loss of insurance. A local business owner says “it was the hardest thing to deal with when starting our own business” (Bayless). In fact, 60% of all bankruptcy in America is a result of mounting medical bills. Bankruptcy due to medical bills rose 50% between 2001 and 2007 (Tamkins). The most ironic thing of all is that Americans already pay more for medical care than any nation in the world. Despite the divide of our nation’s leaders, the call for a solution to the healthcare crisis is more important now than ever.

Despite all the political rhetoric, President Obama saw what healthcare posed to the American public; a national crisis. In Jonathan Alter’s biography of the president’s first year in office, he describes the president’s growing interest in this social tempest that that the media has dubbed “Obama care”:

One of the most eye-opening conversations of the entire transition was when Peter Orszag explained to him that failing to control Medicare and Medicaid… would make balancing the budget impossible without cutting [all non-defense spending] by 70 %. Insurance premiums for individuals had more than doubled in a decade of low inflation. Healthcare… was unsustainable and would wreck the fiscal future of the country. (246)

With this in mind, President Obama pushed one of the most controversial bills in history through congress. Obama’s health care bill is the largest expansion of government in decades. With a socialist approach to governing, the President hopes to cure the nation of a growing sickness. But what are the ultimate goals with respect to healthcare? What can both sides agree on? Is “Obama care” or complete privatization the answer to the healthcare crisis? What is the root cause of the crisis in America?

Healthcare In Other Countries

First, let’s look at some models of both privatization and socialized medical care. In 1980, China reversed its socialist policies regarding healthcare and moved toward complete privatization. Out of pocket expenses surged to 58% of healthcare spending as opposed to 20% in 1978. Only 29% of Chinese have health insurance, which they now need in order to cover the costs of care (Blumenthal). While the number of healthcare facilities grows, access for the poor and middle class has waned. Today, in an effort to correct the failings of this system, the Chinese government has instituted mandatory health savings plans coupled with catastrophic insurance.

For an adequate analogy of socialized medical care, we need only look north. Canada has drawn both criticism and praise, and is looked at more often than any other country when arguing for or against socialized health care. In Canada, access to healthcare is available to all via a government based insurance plan that consumes 22% of all taxes collected It is illegal for [citizens] to carry private insurance coverage for any healthcare services provided by the government. In Canada, it is “illegal to seek or convey private medical assistance” (Lehr). Couple this with fewer doctors as a result of lower pay, and you have a system where people have to leave the country to receive quick reliable healthcare. Other radical measures are being considered as well. “Two Indian nations are planning to build private hospitals on tribal lands, where the Canadian laws do not apply” (Lehr). Without adequate compensation for the effort made to become a doctor, inevitably these men and women will pursue other more lucrative career choices.

What has socialized healthcare done for our own country?

The following graph shows that the price of medical care tracked the consumer price index until Medicare and Medicaid was introduced.


Apparently, the most likely contributor to our rising medical costs is the very thing that Obama has endorsed- government run health programs. Newt Gingrich gives a pointed argument, saying “Despite limitless examples of government failure, [liberals] expect tens of thousands of bureaucrats to run healthcare efficiently” (104). In both examples (Chinese and Canadian health plans), huge flaws point the finger to a necessity for a hybrid policy that combines the best of both approaches toward medicine. The perfect plan to fix healthcare must provide the best healthcare to all citizens while emphasizing consumer responsibility, protecting the interests of our care providers, and encouraging a “common sense” approach to the detection and prevention of disease.

A Hybrid Plan Is The Cure

In my Common Sense health plan, all individual earners will have 10% of their pay put into a health savings plan that they can draw from to pay medical bills that make up 10% of their gross salary. By law, all individuals or couples earning $50,000 or more will be required to purchase catastrophic insurance that will cover health costs exceeding ten percent of their income. The top 5% of earners will have a graduated tax scale to cover the costs of the poor’s catastrophic insurance. Medicare and Medicaid will phase out completely and all elderly will be given benefits in the form of medical vouchers. Insurance will be made available across state lines. It will become law for all medical practitioners to post a “fees for services” schedule that all people can access. Laws will be passed to protect doctors from malpractice litigation by placing a cap on the dollar amount of lawsuits to encourage doctors to make “common sense” decisions, rather than order an abundance of unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits. An online health record for every citizen will be posted and available to all doctors who treat them to prevent mistakes due to poor documentation of diseases and treatment.

The solution to our Health Care crisis is a common sense approach that abandons party politics and pride, and puts an emphasis on the solutions that will work. A common sense health plan would put control back in the hands of citizens (an easy way to control inflation), but would also protect everyone from catastrophic injuries that deflate the economy due to unnecessary bankruptcy. It combines proper ethics with conservative fundamentals to provide a service that should be a right to all citizens. No longer would care be ceded only to those who have the financial means to provide for themselves. The answer lies in the hands of both Republican and Democrat. If we can put down our pride and roll up our sleeves, healthcare for all is only one courageous step away.

Brett A. Wood

Works Cited

Alter, Jonathan. The Promise: President Obama, Year One. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.Print.

Bayless, Diana. Personal interview. 16 April 2011.

Blumenthal, David and William Hsiao. “Privatization and Its Discontents- The Evolving ChineseHealthcare System. NEJM. New England Journal of Medicine, 15 Sep. 2005. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.

Figure 1. “Price Increases.” Chart. Charting the Economy. 14 April 2009. Web. Charting the Economy. 13 April 2011.

Gingrich, Newt. To Save America. Washington: Regnery, 2011. Print.

Lehr, Jay. “Canadian Healthcare Is No Model For U.S.” Heartland. Health Care News, 1 June 2004. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.

Orszag, Peter. “Malpractice Methodology.” NY Times. The New York Times, 20 Oct. 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.

Robinson, Sara. “Mythbusting Canadian Healthcare- Part I.” Our Future. Campaign for America’s Future, 4 Feb. 2008. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.

Tamkins, Theresa. “Medical Bills Prompt More Than 60 Percent of U.S. Bankruptcies.” CNN. CNN Health, 5 June 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • chip1775 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brett Wood 

      6 years ago from Atlanta

      I think I understand what your saying, your talking about price. I think price is solved when consumers spend their own money(health savings) and have up front costs to compare one doctor to another. This will bring cost down since it creates competition between doctors, and between pharmaceutical companies.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Chip - Very short on time - planning for a week long Holocaust conference in DC. But one comes to mind first is that I think in addition to medicare and medicaid, we have to realistically examine the incredible profits being made by pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and some hospitals , lawyers, and doctors (certainly not all of them). Capping the amount for mal-practice complaints and lawsuits is an essential component as you pointed out. Maybe more discussion another time. There are a variety of good articles on this topic written by a variety of hubbers from a variety of perspectives.

    • chip1775 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brett Wood 

      6 years ago from Atlanta

      Thanks! What do you disagree on? What are other contributors?

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Pretty solid. I might disagree on a few points (I think you left out several factors that are major contributors to the rising cost of medical care), but this is a thoughtful and well-written essay. Good work.

      And you cannot imagine how very much I appreciate your Works Cited. So many people simply write off the top of their heads without ever providing their sources. The fact that you did is impressive and lends weight to your argument.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)