News Release

Healthcare: Obama Vs. Pence?

c08c_qvweaa70y9Obama, Pence in ObamaCare showdown” reads a headline in The Hill this morning.

DON McCANNE, M.D., don[at]mccanne.org, @pnhp
Senior health policy fellow with the group Physicians for a National Health Program, McCanne writes a daily health policy update at “Quote of the Day.”

He said today: “It is ironic that the two meetings this morning on Obamacare — President Obama meeting with the Congressional Democrats and Vice President-elect Pence meeting with the Republicans — are being touted as strategy efforts on the two opposite sides of the health care reform debate. But are they really opposites?

“Both would keep in place our current, highly dysfunctional, fragmented financing system that only perpetuates the waste of the profound administrative excesses while creating more barriers to care, both through the expansion of financial barriers to care through the use of excessive cost sharing, especially high deductibles, and through the limitation in choice through the greater use of ever narrower provider networks.

“The current health financing system is in shambles and they are debating mere tweaks that will affect how many will not have affordable access to health care when the debate should be over whether we continue to tolerate our overpriced system that leaves so many out, when we can adopt a proven health care financing system that makes health care truly accessible and affordable for everyone. That, of course, would be a single payer national health program — an improved Medicare that covers everyone.

“Do we simply continue to debate tweaks to a system in shambles, or are we finally going to fix it with an equitable system that actually covers everyone while containing costs through the beneficial tools of public financing and public administration?”