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Some thoughts on three years of health care reform from a medical insider:
“[W]e should admit that our health care system has flaws when it comes to the uninsured. To prove the health care reform’s benefits, the easy-to-sell low-risk coverage for young adults was given as a loss leader to the new health care law’s Health Care Happy Meal. This benefit was universally welcomed by all because it was needed. Yeah, it cost a bit more to provide this insurance, but in the scheme of things, the cost of this health care was relatively cheap to provide. It was (and remains) a win-win. But our attachment to this part of the law may be a clever way to buy us off.
“Preventative services, provided for free, were also included in the [Affordable Care Act]. But this is a problem because nothing is free in health care. Proving preventative services for free perpetuates an expectation that everything will be free in health care and have no consequences. After all, preventative services take time and time for care providers overloaded with more and more patients entering the system is our most precious commodity. Others argue that catching problems early will save money but the proof that this makes a difference to health care costs is really just a delightful narrative. In fact, even the annual physical’s benefit to our health care has been called into question – especially when we recognize its value to the system compared to the benefits derived for the patient.”