US Healthcare Reform - Pros and Cons

Cons (What the liberal media won't tell you)
Inadequate cost containment. Increase in healthcare as faster than inflation (6.7%/year vs 2% for inflation or 4% for GDP growth plus inflation). For many Americans, the government subsidies are a temporary stopgap. For the government to pay the the subsidy, they'll have to increase their spending (and thus taxes) at a rate faster than inflation - already a problem as the government has a massive deficit and is facing fast growth in medicare/medicaid and social security costs.

There is a failure to stop the unnecessary services and the overabundance of doctors (studies estimate that 1/3 of services and thus of spending is unnecessary - which is close to what the US spends in excess of other rich countries).

This bill excludes undocumented immigrants. When you see media stories saying that the bill will cover "95% of Americans" that excludes undocumented immigrants (which is around 11 million people - and thus 3.5% of the US population - so a more accurate figure is 91.5% --

It also excludes lower middle class people who will find it easier to pay the fine then get health care, and poor people who might not jump through all the hoops.

Corporations can shut down their plans, pay the fine, and force the government to subsidize their insurance for their employees. This is a major advantage in the short run. In the long run it could push us towards single payer.

Major components are not implemented until 2014. The republicans have a 50% chance of getting a majority in the mean time. By 2014, health care costs will be up 27% (6.7%/year times four years -- see

Some of the funding comes from taxing "cadillac" health care plans. This will tax the middle class.

Expansion of community health centers (double funding), sponsored by independent democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (VT). These are efficient and target lower income groups.

Dramatic expansion of medicaid. The current criteria to get on Medicaid varies by state and some states are very strict (if you have 100% of the poverty line, you won't qualify).

Partially paid for by a tax on the rich by putting a tax on investment income and increasing the medicare tax for income over $200,000.

It could be expanded in a progressive way (ex. subsidies could increase, medicaid be expanded, etc).

It could turn into single payer, if costs continue to rise.

It might be very hard for the Republicans to get rid of it once it is established (which explains why they are fighting so viciously against it now).