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U.S. Healthcare – Why Should You Care?
The healthcare system in the United States is known to be one of the most expensive and, some might say, overpriced systems in the world. Other countries with lower cost healthcare more efficiently utilize the bargaining power of their governments while we rely on free enterprise and the private sector. Healthcare is the top employer and the sixth-largest industry in the U.S., which complicates any kind of change, and has been a political football for all of the recent presidential elections.
While Obamacare offers income-based subsidies, plans presented by the GOP have age-based tax credits and do away with the individual mandate requiring everyone to get insurance or pay a fine. The GOP’s plans have also capped Medicare funding, a program that grew under the Obama administration, but they still require that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Democrats and Republicans agree that our healthcare system should cost less and be more efficient. But with every new layer of regulation and bureaucracy comes higher cost and a loss of efficiency. Making changes to our complicated system happens slowly even in a political environment where the three branches of government are largely controlled by one party.
President Trump promised on the campaign trail to replace Obamacare in his first 100 days, but the initial plans he touted were highly criticized on both sides of the aisle. The Congressional Budget Office reports were not supportive saying that 14 million would lose healthcare in the first years and premiums would increase 15 to 20 percent.
Now the Senate is taking up the GOP’s healthcare plan and has delayed their vote until after the Fourth of July holiday next week. As Americans look on in great anticipation of a change that moves us closer to affordable and efficient healthcare, costs continue to rise and burden both businesses and individuals alike.