Saturday, March 31, 2012

How the Affordable Care Act Helps the U.S. Economy

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments over whether President Obama’s healthcare legislation is constitutional. It’s easy to get lost in tedious legal details, but let’s not neglect the critical patient at the heart of this case: the U.S. economy. If we don’t take bold steps to reinvent our healthcare system, that patient will decline and die.

The current healthcare system threatens our prosperity in three ways: It burdens the overall economy; it undermines individual businesses and the jobs they provide; and it saps the productivity of American workers. These threats confront both those of us who have insurance and those of us who don’t.

Our current healthcare system burdens the overall economy because it is far too expensive compared to the health benefits it delivers. In fact, the United States spends about 50 percent more on healthcare than any other developed country (as a fraction of our total national economy) and we get less for it on the measures that matter. What matters is how long people live and how healthy they are, not how many coronary bypasses were performed. As a former management consultant, I can tell you that no CEO would tolerate a division that spent 50 percent more than its competitors, and didn’t have much better results to show for it. Read more.....

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