dear ms lettybetty, there is no Obama health care plan, there is whatever the house and senate come up with. the cost will be immense and will be borne by we the people. it really comes down to what our society decides to spend our tax dollars on. the really unfortunate thing (in my mind) is that our current health care system is fatally broken and there should be major discussions going on defining what the current problems are and how best to correct them. this is not happening. all the decisions will be made for political reasons and not the best interest of our society.
I agree with that. It is indeed what politicians do.
We have a hermaphrodite system which appears to combine many of the worst aspects of government programs and the free market.
Government entitlement systems in something so subject to individual judgements in specific cases and the tradeoffs between prevention and cure/management as health care are inherently subject to both abuse by providers & patients and self-defeating distortions at the hands of the brueaucrats who manage it.
Government also encourages corporations to provide health care benefits through various tax incentives (and now new threatened penalties if they don't). Unfortunately these benefits tend to separate the consumer from the choices that would otherwise be associated with the decision to use these services. Companies are increasingly attuned to the costs, because in the information age, there is no such thing as pooled risk - corporations pay their insurers based on the actual claims of their employees, and the delay time between claims and increased company premiums is very short. One result is that many companies are increasingly focusing on wellness programs to both improve employee's health and lower their costs.
Much is made about the number of uninsured in this country. However, few commentators note or acknowledge the disincentive provided to a very large portion of our population through the MEDICAID program - they get their care from the state at no cost at all (and get to suffer through all the hassles that such bureaucracies always inflict on their customers). MEDICARE is also part of the problem through its (typical for a bureaucracy) combination of wasteful support of many unnecessary procedures and inadequate payments for and restrictions on many others. Where I live it is very hard to find a doctor who will take patients whose medical coverage is only through MEDICARE.
In short, government itself has significantly distorted the market for medical care through its various well-intended programs for the poor and the old. Now it presumes to "cure" the problems it has caused by added application of the same poision.