Young adults , before the great Healthcare reform of 2010 - were knocked off their parent's insurance as they reached a certain age. But reform helped parents and kids to be able to acquire insurance. Unlike the Bush Republican era, in which those kids were either price gouged to get insurance, or had no insurance at all - the result of this change in the law allowed young adults up to the age of 26 to easily acquire affordable health insurance through existing means. As a direct result, last year 2.5 million more young Americans were insured - and 5 million parents rested a bit easier about their children.
I stop to think about what this means for our country. About what it means for jobs, economic and cultural stability. That's almost 8 million people. What is the effect of these people worrying, or paying more than they should? Even though some reforms have taken hold, Americans pay 16% of every dollar spent, on healthcare. We have overpaid, for a system that is burdened with bizarre and destructive bureaucracy. If you don't believe this, simply go ask anyone - at any hospital billing department - what a procedure will cost you if you wanted to have it done today. They will first ask - what insurance company are you with? Why? Because almost all hospitals now routinely cook their books to over bill and under bill every insurance company. Because nearly every insurance company either overcharges or undercharges a given procedure. The hospital will tell you it's a bizarre system, but they can't change it. A procedure has to have a fixed cost, they will tell you. But what that cost might be. They haven't a clue.
In a market like this, regulation is desperately needed. Markets require price, and value branding. Customers need to be able to make a choice between two products. As it stands, and even still today - the number one reason for bankruptcy , for the middle class - in America is an unexpected medical issue. Getting back to a market and a market exchange, in which price can be established and a realistic set of market forces can take hold to foster competition and improved service - is a primary concern for our country. Reform was sorely needed, and even in its current state of implementation - it is clear that many of the reforms that went into place are improving our country.
The majority of the law goes into effect in 2012, and 2014. The supreme court will weigh in on some aspect of the law, as it should. And after that review, the Bush Republicans - who promised Healthcare Reform would be stopped at any and all costs - will be seen for who they are. A neoliberal party of welfare for the wealthy and corporate lobbyism - a group of men and women under the payroll of big oil, big pharma and big anything else.
But there is one thing bigger than they are. The heart of America.