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AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THE

PROJECT 352

“Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided�


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Contents Senior Citizen

1

Cost

2

Capitalism

3

Obamacare

4

Who Pays?

5

Doctors

6-7

Universal Care

8

Do we just go for it? 9 Other Key Facts / Solution

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Apendix

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Bibliography

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* Key Facts


Project 352

Writters: Jaaron Eller, Aros Mackey, Jon Spooner Editor: Aros Mackey


The current healthcare program in the United States provides federal funds for individuals who are either

low-income or elderly, and is handled privately for other citizens. Subsidized healthcare is the single largest expense in the federal budget (yes, larger than the defense budget), costing the government over 1.5 trillion dollars a year. That’s about 1/12 of our national deficit.

*Social Security law requires program spending to match revenue, so a lack of action by lawmakers by that time will mean benefits will have to be cut 23 percent -- or the Social Security payroll tax increased to 16 percent, or a combination, the report said.

* Twice as many American seniors with belowmedian incomes self-report “excellent” health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7 percent versus 5.8 percent). Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.” 1


“The current health care program is running out of money, and will be obsolete soon.” Jaaron Eller

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If the current system were to continue without modifications the tax funds used for public healthcare

would be insufficient by the year 2024. In an actuarial address to the public in 2011, congress reported that “Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.” Because the current system is unsustainable, and 42 million people are enrolled in public healthcare, it’s necessary to construct a new system.

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The economy and government of the United States is founded upon the economic principle of capitalism.

That is, an economy based on principles of free trade with goods owned by private entities and prices and costs based upon the principles of an open market and competition. A purely privatized healthcare system would eliminate the current federal expenses and provide an environment for healthy competition and quality care.

American Capitalism

* Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them. 3


As each state searches for the proper solution to the healthcare needs of their citizens, the federal government is pushing a blanket plan that will require every state to function the same all acrossed the board. The sytem they developed refered to as “Obamacare”, makes the taxpayer funded healthcare offered to low income people (including illegal aliens) availible to all Americans regaurdless of whether it is financially sustainable or not, effectively making it a hazard to the general wealfare of this country. “Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001.” Butch Otter, Idaho State Governor

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010

* Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long - sometimes more than a year - to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer. All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada. In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

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Healthy people who take care of themselves will have to pay for the burden of those who smoke, are obese,

etc. Universal health care means the costs will be spread to all Americans, regardless of your health or your need for medical care, which is fundamentally unfair. Your health is greatly determined by your lifestyle. Those who exercise, eat right, don’t smoke, don’t drink, etc. have far fewer health problems than the smoking couch potatoes. Some healthy people don’t even feel the need for health insurance since they never go to the doctor. Why should we punish those that live a healthy lifestyle and reward the ones who don’t?

* For Medicare, to stay solvent for the next 75 years, would have to immediately raise payroll taxes by 24 percent, or cut current benefit payments by 17 percent, Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow with the American Academy of Actuaries in Washington, said in a phone interview. 5


Loss of private practice options and possible reduced pay may dissuade many would-be doctors from

pursuing the profession. Government jobs currently have statute-mandated salaries and civil service tests required for getting hired. There isn’t a lot of flexibility built in to reward the best performing workers. Imagine how this would limit the options of medical professionals. Doctors who attract scores of patients and do the best work would likely be paid the same as those that perform poorly and drive patients away. The private practice options and flexibility of specialties is one of things that attracts students to the profession. If you take that away, you may discourage would-be students from putting themselves through the torture of medical school and residency. A recent study showed that nearly 1/3 of doctors would leave the profession if the Obama health care bill was put into law.

* Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer: Nine of 10 middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to less than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent). Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a pap smear, compared to less than 90 percent of Canadians. More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a PSA test, compared to less than 1 in 6 Canadians (16 percent). Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with less than 1 in 20 Canadians (5 percent).

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Key Points from Multiple Doctor interviews by Jaaron Eller: (First interview was a Physical Therapist who works for a hospital and the second, a private practice pediatrician)

Healthcare professionals like the current system because they get paid the same whether the person uses medicare or a private insurance company. Both of them agreed that if we had socialized medicine in the United States quality of healthcare would decrease. That if doctors were payed less, we would have less doctors, and if private companies didn’t fund medical research with capitalist agendas, we would have less medical advances in the United States. Both acknowledged the simplicity that would come to the billing system with only one insurance source, but were weary of the efficiency of a government run system. The physical therapist stated he would not go into physical therapy if it didn’t have the same financial benefits.

“The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans. If private insurers are pushed out of the market, the group said, “the corresponding surge in public plan participation would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers.” The American Medical Association (AMA) *The AMA has 250,000 physicians and is the largest of it’s kind states

* Medicare won’t be able to pay full benefits by 2024, Social Security won’t be able to by 2036

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One of the main reasons for opposition to universal healthcare is the argument of the effectiveness of free

markets at providing better results and cost controls. It is generally believed in a free market society that less government involvement produces multiple competing organizations which are theoretically supposed to in turn produce lower costs and increased innovation. This is supposed to result in a better, more affordable end product for the consumer. four reasons against a federally funded national healthcare system are The decrease in benefit to the patient...The inability of the US Government to handle the cost.....the possible decrease in new doctors and Medical Professionals....And, it deters from the benefits of a free market economy.

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Do we just go for it? Is making federal health insurance universal to all a plausible solution for our nation? Canada, Brazil, China and dozens of other countries have adapted a universalized system and have seen certain benefits. A Nano research poll found that 82% of Canadian citizens prefer the Canadian system to the one in the United States, and with a cost-per-citizen rate just slightly higher than the current system a, It could very well be our answer. But what are the drawbacks? It would require less pay to doctors and others in the medical field. It would take funding away from research and the development of new technologies and lead to the disruption of an industry that employs millions. Full universalization would limit where patients can receive treatment and limit specialized care. In a Strategic Council survey in 2008, respondents in both the United States and Canada were asked to rate how they felt about the quality of their healthcare services. 40% of respondents from the United States responded “excellent”, compared to 36% of Canadian respondents. A Gallup poll discovered that 17% of Americans were “strongly satisfied” with the quality of healthcare, compared to 13% in Canada. A federalized system may make healthcare more affordable, but the quality decreases and citizens notice.

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Other Key Facts * More than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British adults say their health system needs either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” * When asked about their own health care instead of the “health care system,” more than half of Americans (51.3 percent) are very satisfied with their health care services, compared to only 41.5 percent of Canadians; a lower proportion of Americans are dissatisfied (6.8 percent) than Canadians (8.5 percent). * Maligned as a waste by economists and policymakers naïve to actual medical practice, an overwhelming majority of leading American physicians identified computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations for improving patient care during the previous decade. The United States has 34 CT scanners per million Americans, compared to 12 in Canada and eight in Britain. The United States has nearly 27 MRI machines per million compared to about 6 per million in Canada and Britain. * “Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided,” * Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher. * Breast cancer mortality is 9 percent higher, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher and colon cancer mortality among men is about 10 percent higher than in the United States. * Is making federal health insurance universal to all a plausible solution for our nation? Canada, Brazil, China and dozens of other countries have adapted a universalized system and have seen certain benefits. A Nano research poll found that 82% of Canadian citizens prefer the Canadian system to the one in the United States, and with a cost-per-citizen rate just slightly higher than the current system a, It could very well be our answer.

Solution Procject 352 concludes that becaue the situation is so great and heavily politicized the logical thing to do is allow each state to practice their constitutional rights and decide for themselves, how they will take care of their citizenry bassed on their needs.

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Team Members:

Apendix

Jaaron Eller BYU-Idaho Student Professional Videographer with emphasis in post-production. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. As I’ve studied healthcare in the United States I’ve learned it’s an incredibly complex issue, more complex than can be settled in this issue booklet. The problem is fascinating because there are so many conflicting facets. Private companies desire to keep it privatized for their own livelihood, while that neglects those people who cannot afford the benefits or are unemployed and can’t receive it through their employer. The current system, designed to help those in need while still respecting the private desires of others is failing, and we’re coming to a point where it’s time to reevaluate our desires as a nation: do we care more for the economic value of privatized insurance, or the human factor of those who can’t afford care at all. Truly it will take the great minds of our day to determine what should be done.

Aros Mackey BYU-Idaho Student Lobbyist for Adaptive Policy LLC I have been closely monitoring the politicization of healthcare since 2006. In 2008 I began campaigning against national healthcare and campaigned for the Republican National Committee (RNC) in presidential and congressional Elections. I am currently one of two-registered lobbyist in southern UT. The complex issues of the American Healthcare are daunting, when entertaining the solutions. It is clear to me that we are incrementally moving from a very popular curative system to a preventative and inefficient structure, similar to Canada. Although it seams America has no national healthcare, we really do, it is just done behind the scenes at the taxpayers expense. I am a firm believer that there cannot be a national plan that blankets every state, each state needs to be at liberty to have the style of healthcare they would want.

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Bibliography

Drew Armstrong and Brian Faler, “Medicare and Social Security Funds Expiring Sooner, U.S. Says”, businessweek.com, May 13th 2011, Nov. 17th 2011 http://www.usdebtclock.org/, Nov. 17th 2011 Photius Coutsoukis, “The World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems.”, Revised 29-FEB-07, Nov. 17th 2011 What you learned about problem/possible solution: The U.S. ranks fairly low on worldwide health rankings Scott Atlas, “10 Surprising Facts About US Healthcare, NCPA.org, March 24th 2009, Nov. 17th 2011 http://www.usdebtclock.org/, Nov. 17th 2011 Photius Coutsoukis, “The World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems.”, Revised 29-FEB-07, Nov. 17th 2011 Scott Atlas, “10 Surprising Facts About US Healthcare, NCPA.org, March 24th 2009, Nov. 17th 2011 awww.cihi.ca


Project 352