Commentary: The GOP's proposed health care overhaul has many problems--lower income people will be priced out of the market, federal funds to states for Medicaid will dry up, preventive care will be too expensive and 20 million people now under Obamacare will eventually lose their insurance.
Health care is not like other markets. People’s need for health care are unpredictable—unlike food, clothing and electronics where there is competition. Patients on a gurney can’t really make rational choices and payment comes after care—not before. In economic terms it is called inelastic demand. When we need insulin for diabetic treatment (or any life-saving drug) we will pay whatever we must—or we die—and providers know that. Over the last 60 years’ U.S. health care costs have increased much faster than wages or General Domestic Product. That is why every other developed country in the World controls medical costs and insures that everyone has access.
The reasons Republicans want to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to reduce taxes for the rich by getting rid of the subsidies and eliminate the penalty mandate for not having insurance. Without those two component, whatever they replace it with will not meet the health needs of the most vulnerable in our society. How come we mandate that we have corn base ethanol in our gasoline and have car insurance—but not health insurance?