Lumpkin: La reforma de la salud es aquí permanecer

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | September 27, 2012
The iHT2 conference
was held at the historic New
York Academy of Medicine.
Dr. John Lumpkin, health care director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, believes the problem with the U.S. health care system was outlined by cyberpunk novelist William Gibson in the early 1990s: the future's already here, it's just not evenly distributed.

In a keynote talk at the Institute for Health Technology Transformation conference in New York City last week, Lumpkin said that while the U.S. has the best medical science in the world -- cutting-edge imaging systems, near-miraculous surgeries and body-part replacements -- its health care system is plagued by waste and disparities of access.

That's why, while some are worried about the fate of the Affordable Care Act because of the coming U.S. presidential elections, Lumpkin said that pressures on the system mean change has to come no matter what.
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"Regardless of what happens in 48 days in the election, the future of the Affordable Care Act and health reform...isn't going to sink," he said.


For one, the ranks of the uninsured keep growing, rising from 43 million in 2007 to 48 million in 2011, Lumpkin said.

Plus, the U.S. health system gets little bang for its buck, spending a big chunk of its GDP on health despite achieving a middling rank on global health indices. And Lumpkin said U.S. failures here can't all be blamed on differences in lifestyle or diet. An August Health Affairs article, cited by Lumpkin, for instance, found America fell below the UK, Germany and France for mortality rates for conditions "amenable to health care interventions."

U.S. health care often offers spottier service as well. Lumpkin said in a poll of American adults, 23 percent said test results or records weren't available at the time of appointment, twice as high as in Germany and two and a half times higher than in the Netherlands.


As for the fate of the ACA itself, Lumpkin outlined four scenarios, depending on what goes down in the ballot box on Nov. 6:

One, Obama gets re-elected and the Democrats retain control of the Senate -- this is business as usual.

Two, Romney's elected but the GOP doesn't make headway in the upper chambers. "There will be budget manipulation but the bulk (of the ACC) will go through," he said.

Three, Romney takes the crown and the Republicans win a majority in the Senate, but fail to pull the 60 seats needed so they can vote cloture on bills and get legislation through. Still, through simple-majority budget votes they could possibly "defund major portions" of the ACA, Lumpkin said.

Four, Romney's elected, the GOP sweeps up 60 Senate seats and the ACA is repealed.

Galen Hiveley

The Unaffordable Health Care Act

September 27, 2012 09:13

"found America fell below the UK, Germany and France for mortality rates for conditions, amenable to health care interventions"

We have to keep in mind though, this is with our present health care system. Our health care system could end up at the bottom of the heap rated to other countries around the World, once the Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented.

I certainly haven't been convinced yet of almost anything in the ACC that is a change for the better. The total health care system dollars are 1/6 of our total GDP. That's a huge number. As our nations debt continues to climb without any answers from Washington in sight, it is not a wonder why Washington has wanted their fingers in the pie of the health care system for some time. It will give them some cash flow and that's the bottom line.

Is that going to fix or help fix the debt problem? No. It might look that way at first because there will be added revenue (cash flow) in the beginning. The same as when the Social Security System first started. Looked good at the start and then look at where it is today.

If interest rate rise, I doubt if they take all they can finagle from health care system, that it will be enough to even cover our interest payment on the national debt, but I guess they figure it's worth a try. It's in far worse shape than the health care system so then ask yourself this simple question. Is our government fixing the national debt problem? That answer should be obvious.
They aren't even trying. Is Social Security Solvent?

How anyone could ever think that the federal government could manage something the size of health care given our governments previous track record of trying to manage, oversee or regulate anything, they have to be living on some other plane of reality than where I live. Could they make the system worse? Of course, they can do that without even trying so imagine how bad it will be when they do try.

Is the ACC going to fix the problems with our present health care system? I think you'd stand a better chance of being struck by lightning than that ever coming true.
I'm not saying that our present system doesn't have problems and it needs some changes, but for our government to jump into the middle of it? It's going to be worse than throwing gasoline on a fire!

The best thing they can do with the Affordable Health Care Act would be to throw it out and start over. Once they have a new bill, put it before the American people to vote whether they want it or not. That is one major mistake they made with ACC from the start. All every American citizen got was something thrown together, thrown at us and they said, "here it is, like it or not, it is law".

I know and talk to people that are doctors to the person working at the corner store and people in between. I have yet to talk to one person that believes the ACC is a good idea nor one person that is in favor of it. Since it was made law anyway should tell us one thing, there needs to be a "House cleaning" in Washington. And election day is not that far off.

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