Are We Healthier With ObamaCare?

Happy group of friends, family with dog and cat jumping togetherMany people disagree over the positives and negatives of ObamaCare.

But it is important to know some basic facts:

We are healthier under ObamaCare.  

“Hospitals prevented nearly 15,000 deaths and 560,000 injuries by reducing additional illnesses and infections acquired in the hospital, preliminary data from the Health and Human Services. That would mean upward of $4 billion in overall health-spending savings between 2010 and 2012.

This decrease is partly due to the government’s program which penalizes hospitals for readmissions within 30 days of a hospital stay for the same problem.  The decrease is also due to the increase in reimbursement to hospitals for better quality under ObamaCare.  2,225 hospitals were hit with penalties for readmissions in 2013.  Article.

This data shows that if healthcare providers are rewarded for making  patients healthy – patients get healthier.

In the past, payment for health services was based on “fee for service.”  Thus, each time a patient gets a service, the healthcare provider gets paid.  There is no incentive to get the patient healthy.

The new model for payment rewards hospitals for making patients better and they will get paid more.  This doesn’t always work, but we are making progress.


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2 thoughts on “Are We Healthier With ObamaCare?

  1. Your ‘spin’ for sure. From the article you cite, “National Journal: “While some of these practices were in place in hospitals prior to the Affordable Care Act, according to the AHA, only now are the changes accelerating across the nation.””. While amongst the thousands of pages of legislation and tens of thousands of pages of resultant regulations there was some emphasis on reimbursement and readmissions this wasn’t the primary focus of ObamaCare.

    It is also notable that HHS has proven time and again it is ‘in the tank’ for ObamaCare so quoting their conclusions and statistics may be a little gullible.

    An April 23, 2016 Annals of Internal Medicine article (Annals is the primary journal of the ACP/ABIM which is the parent organization of Internists and a proponent for universal health care for years) concludes that Medicaid enrollment is up 6.6% since ObamaCare and some quality surrogates such as diabetes and hypercholesterolemia diagnosis increased but admits in this paragraph limitations in it’s conclusion: “However, researchers were unable to show that low-income people were any healthier as a result of the Medicaid expansions. They found no improvement in self-reported health among low-income adults in the expansion states.”

    It is clear we are spending more money on insurance premiums and deductibles. It is also clear that more people are getting (mostly subsidized) insurance. While it may seem logical to assume that those covered patients will eventually see improved health outcomes that is a premature conclusion based on emotion rather than science. ObamaCare was sold as a program that would improve outcomes at a lower cost and has never exceeded 50% popularity among American voters. We need a sober reassessment as to whether this yet unproven program offers the greatest cost/benefit for the most people.

    • This is all quite interesting information, I appreciate you sharing. The article in while I wrote titled “Are We Healthier With ObamaCare” was written back in the beginning of 2015 when the ACA was still in its infancy. It is difficult to get everyone to meet eye to eye on this subject (if the ACA is making us healthier or not) but I do feel as though many aspects of it have improved the health and well being of others.

      Thanks for sharing! This information was very helpful!

      Lori-Ann Rickard at MyHealthSpin

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