A new Commonwealth Fund/NBC News survey finds that 31% of voters were worried about being able to afford their health insurance in the next 12 months, 29% feared they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, and 32% worried about being able to afford other out-of-pocket costs. Nearly 80% of likely voters said they thought reducing health care costs should be a high priority for the next president.
Asked how much trust they placed in President Trump or congressional Republicans to protect or improve the health care system, 58% of voters said “not much” or “none at all,” according to the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll. By contrast, a 53% majority of the electorate said they had “a lot” or “some” trust in Democrats on the same question.
“They’re either not telling the truth or they’re really stupid. Because there’s no way you can afford to cover pre-existing conditions without everybody being in on the deal.”
— Joe Biden, pushing back on claims by President Trump and fellow Republicans that the GOP can protect patients with pre-existing conditions better than Democrats, Politico reports.
Now that the media is forcing Donald Trump to provide specifics to back up his bravado and bluster, he’s revealing himself to be just another big-spending, big-government Republican — at least when it comes to two of the nation’s most complex and intractable problems: funding healthcare for the poor and what to do about the millions of undocumented residents living in the United States.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Donald Trump admitted he once supported socialized healthcare in the form of a single-payer system like Medicare for seniors in the United States and the cradle-to-grave socialized systems in Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Japan, Kuwait and other U.S. competitor and allied nations.
(CNN has not enable embedding the video, but see it here — and the transcript of section of the interview about Trump’s healthcare and immigration plans follows this article)
If you want to live a long life, don’t come to America. According to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average lifespan of people in the United States is only 78.7 years, putting us at number 26 among the OECD’s 34 member nations. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the research shows there is hope for Americans in the future.
The Wall St. Journal recently looked at the new OECD study, and counted down the top five countries.
- #5: Spain — Life expectancy of 82.4 years, even with a low gross domestic product of only $33,000 per capita
- #4: Iceland — Life expectancy is also 82.4 years, and Iceland is third lowest in smoking rates and last in diabetes
- #3: Japan — Life expectancy is 82.7 years, thanks to very low rates of heart disease and obesity
- #2: Italy — Life expectancy is also 82.7 years, yet Italians spend only $3,000 per capita on health care
- #1: Switzerland — Life expectancy of 82.8 years, but third highest in spending on health care (you already know who spends the most). Switzerland is the only country on the list that does not provide single-payer, universal access to health care. Instead, it uses a system very like the Affordable Care Act that requires citizens to buy a health plan. Doh!
Number of Americans with high-deductible health plans in 2013, Bloomberg reports. That’s up from 1 million in 2005. A “high deductible” is defined as $1,250 or more for individual coverage per year.
Just in time for tax season:
A stampede seems to be on the way as more and more groups break ties and dump ALEC. Intuit, Inc. (maker of Quicken and QuickBooks accounting software) told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that Intuit also decided not to renew its membership after it expired in 2011. That comment came from Bernie McKay, Vice President of Government Affairs. He gave this response when CMD identified that Intuit was no longer listed on the board and contacted the company. CMD began its effort to spotlight Intuit and other corporate funders and tie these corporations to the ALEC agenda when it launched ALECexposed.org in July 2011.
Kraft Foods also announced that it won’t renew its membership in ALEC when it expires this spring, according to an email from Kraft Corporate Affairs Director Susan Davison. These announcements follow on the news that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are out.
Intuit’s McKay explained to CMD that the company doesn’t “usually issue statements about membership in any organization” and declined to comment further. According to Reuters, Kraft’s emailed statement explained, “Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons, including limited resources, we have made the decision not to renew.”
Here is a list of some of the best-known consumer brands who pay ALEC to push a right-wing agenda in the states by writing laws designed to suppress minority voting rights, expand gun ownership and restrict health care access and women’s rights:
In an alarming survey published this month, The Doctors Company found that nine out of 10 physicians would not recommend becoming a doctor. The nation’s largest provider of physician and surgeon insurance asked more than 5,000 members whether they would recommend their profession to someone looking for a career.
The results are especially troubling because the healthcare industry faces huge shortfalls in workers in coming years, thanks in large part to the “bubble” of aging Baby Boomers who will be reaching peak years of medical care as they age.
Current legislation that could have a dramatic effect on medical professionals is cited in the survey as the biggest concern among working doctors today.
We may be on the verge of a sea change in how medicine is practiced and delivered in the U.S. as the nation learns to deal with the crises of health insurance, the aging population, understaffing in hospitals and clinics, legislation and regulation, and scrutiny of the fee-for-service model that has dominated U.S. medicine for decades.
More Americans are looking for alternatives to traditional medicine, whether it’s in the herb and supplement aisle at the grocery store or in the self-help section of an online tool like Virtuwell.