A última etapa
RJ Matson, «St. Louis Post-Dispatch»
Os Republicanos continuam contra o projecto, mas tudo parece indicar que Barack Obama verá a sua proposta para a reforma do sistema de saúde americano — um dos seus maiores testes políticos — aprovada pela Câmara dos Representantes. A proposta da administração prevê o alargamento da rede de cuidados de saúde a 95 por cento da população americana, através da obrigatoriedade da compra de seguros de saúde, ou pelos empregadores ou num mercado individual. A reforma estabelece novas regras para a actividade das seguradoras, que, por exemplo, ficarão proibidas de recusar apólices a pessoas com doenças crónicas.
Escreve Dean Baker na Truthout:
The passage of President Obama’s health care reform will make a difference in the live of tens of millions of people. The subsidies will make insurance affordable to millions of families who could not pay the unsubsidized rate. More importantly, by prohibiting insurers from discriminating against people with serious health conditions, those who are currently covered will have real insurance for the first time. People will no longer have to worry that a serious illness will cause them to lose their job and then their insurance.
This is real progress, but the bill does little to change the fact that health care in the United States is ridiculously expensive and, if current trends continue, will grow more unaffordable through time. While many issues on controlling costs are complicated, some are very simple. At the top of the list is bringing the price of drugs, medical equipment, and medical supplies down to their competitive market price. […]
The huge gap between the patent protected price and the market price leads to the sort of corruption predicted by economic theory. Pharmaceutical companies mislead doctors and the public about the effectiveness and safety of the drug. They give kickbacks and even bribes to doctors for prescribing their drugs in addition to spending vast sums on marketing. And they spend a fortune lobbying Congress to get their patent monopolies extended and strengthened. […]
RJ Matson, «Roll Call»