John Geyman, Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, describes below in this Huffington Post article the flaws in the recent health reform legislation, and explains how the kind of meaningful reform that will actually fix our healthcare crisis got derailed. The article is adapted from Geyman’s new book, Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform. A special comment by Don McCanne, M.D., of Physicians for a National Health Program, follows.
Hijacked: Stolen Health Care Reform V
By John Geyman
The Huffington Post
July 27, 2010
On the positive side of the ledger, the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) brings some welcome changes.
On the negative side of the ledger, however, these are some of the reasons that the PPACA will fall so far short of needed health care reform that it is not much better than nothing:
• Surging health care costs will not be contained as cost-sharing increases for patients and their families.
• Uncontrolled costs of health care and insurance will make them unaffordable for a large and growing part of the population.
• At least 23 million Americans will still be uninsured in 2019, with tens of millions more underinsured.
• Quality of care for the U. S. population is not likely to improve.
• Insurance “reforms” are so incomplete that the industry can easily continue to game the system.
• New layers of waste and bureaucracy, without added value, will further fragment the system.
• With its lack of price controls, the PPACA will prove to be a bonanza for corporate stakeholders in the medical-industrial complex.
• Perverse incentives within a minimally-regulated market-based system will still lead to overtreatment with inappropriate and unnecessary care even as millions of Americans forego necessary care because of cost.
• The “reformed” system is not sustainable and will require more fundamental reform sooner than later to rein in the excesses of the market.
(Adapted from “Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform,” 2010, with permission of the publisher Common Courage Press. John Geyman is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.)
Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform
by John Geyman
(Hijacked can be ordered now, at discount, for delivery in September.)
By Don McCanne, MD
“A trenchant and highly readable account of how the special interests sabotaged health reform, leading to a law that won’t provide universal care nor control escalating costs. Geyman shows us the way to real reform when the current law implodes. An eye-opening book.”
—Marcia Angell, M.D., Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, former editor-in-chief, New England Journal of Medicine
“By reading John Geyman’s very timely Hijacked, those who are uncomfortable with the reform process that took place will be able to understand more precisely what went wrong. He explains why our concerns are fully warranted, but, instead of abandoning hope, he provides us with a road map for reform that will ensure that all of us will have the health care that we need.”
—Don McCanne, M.D., family physician, Senior Health Policy Fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
Originally posted at www.pnhp.org.