Obama’s Healthcare Reform: Should Freelancers Support It?

Posted on 27. Sep, 2009 by in Lists

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Obama’s Healthcare Reform: Should Freelancers Support It?

President Barack Obama has recently gone on the offensive with his healthcare reform plan. The reform will cost Americans $1.5 trillion over 10 years. He defended this by figures which projected that the USA spent more than $8,000 per capita on health care in 2009, some fold more than the amount spent in most European countries.

As a freelancer, a question sprung to my mind. Does the healthcare reform benefit freelancers? You may think, how does this affect me since I am in the UK. Well, I have several friends in the USA who are employed part-time just to get healthcare insurance. This really causes the “free”dom of some “free”lancers to be at stake.

My initial feelings, therefore, were that this is an absolute gold mine for freelancers. Digging deeper into the issue I wondered, does the healthcare reform actually benefit freelancers?

The Case For Obama’s Reform

Obama argues that America’s $2.5 trillion healthcare system, which represents a sixth of the economy, is far too expensive. The statistics also show that over 50 million Americans do not currently have healthcare insurance and Obama wants to cover tens of millions more Americans through the reform.

Apparently, under the reform freelancers and other self-employed people will find it easier to get health insurance and significantly cheaper. The plan suggests that the relevant tax rises will only be enforced in people who earn over $250,000.

This would mean that freelancers will no longer need to be enslaved by a corporation and would also reduce how much the self-employed pay out on insurance, according to President Obama.

The Case Against Obama’s Reform

With the reform, the Federal contribution will decrease which caused some Americans to argue against Obama’s plan claiming that it benefits no one but the Fed. They also argue that the reform will be similar to other reforms in the past which effectively changed nothing and in some cases made things worse.

The most compelling argument however was made by David Goldhill in the ‘Atlantic’. He says:

“By what mechanism does society determine that an extra, say, $100 billion for health care will make us healthier than even $10 billion for cleaner air or water, or $25 billion for better nutrition, or $5 billion for parks, or $10 billion for recreation, or $50 billion in additional vacation time—or all of those alternatives combined?

“…if the government took on the goal of better supporting consumers—by bringing greater transparency and competition to the health-care industry, and by directly subsidizing those who can’t afford care—we’d find that consumers could buy much more of their care directly than we might initially think, and that over time we’d see better care and better service, at lower cost, as a result.”

Conclusion

Sitting in the UK, it is hard to speak about the healthcare system of the USA. That is why I have reserved my opinion on this issue.
What does the healthcare reform mean to you? Do you support it? Please educate us with your views below.

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2 Responses to “Obama’s Healthcare Reform: Should Freelancers Support It?”

  1. Brother Dash

    29. Sep, 2009

    I begin with a question of philosophy not cost. Do you have a philosophical belief that healthcare is a right and not a privilege for those that can afford it? Some of the anti-Obama healthcare folks (and the President hasn’t actually submitted legislation to congress) oppose him and you find out that they don’t necessarily believe that healthcare is a right. So we begin there. For me it is a right. As such “costs” are secondary especially when we look at how much we spend in unnecessary wars and acts of aggression. Since 2001 the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan stands at over 900 Billion dollars. I don’t hear conservatives complaining about that. And that’s not even the true toll of the war. The true toll is in the hundreds of thousands of people needlessly killed as a result. So to me the cost issue is simply a red herring…a distraction…a smelly fish tossed on the floor to keep your attention. And this is not to mention the amount of money wasted in healthcare from unnecessary procedures to the very fact that the Chief Surgeon of one hospital in New York made $7.5 million dollars in one year! Why? Why does a doctor make so much more money than a teacher for instance? That money has to come from somewhere. The average salary of a Cardiologist in the United States is over $400,000 a year. No doctor averages less than $100,000 and many make upwards of $1 million a year. Operations can cost easily into the hundreds of thousands. And that is not to mention the costs of medical equipment $500 for a disposable stapler (one time use only) as an example.

    Lastly even people without insurance in America still get care. It’s called emergency room care. No hospital can legally deny someone emergency care. If you walk in in diabetic shock because your sugar spiked you will get care. But that care does cost and someone is left holding the bag…and it isn’t the patient. Often it is the gov’t or the hospital. But somebody has to pay. But if that patient was under a doctor’s care for his diabetes it would cost less than when he had to eventually go to the hospital because due to his lack of insurance he neglected care. So that’s what this boils down to. Philosophy first. Costs second and there’s a ton of waste that will easily cover the costs.

  2. Shoaib

    05. Oct, 2009

    Brother Dash – Thanks a ton for a great educational comment. A very in depth and meaningful comment. Very interesting thoughts.

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