Obamacare on 60 Minutes

Did you watch the 60 Minutes article on Obamacare that aired on Sunday, January 11, 2015?

We missed it, but found it online, though not available to embed here.

Below the video, is the written transcript of the article.  Obamacare-60-Minutes

The piece opens with Lesley Stahl saying:

“This month marks one year since health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act began, and from the president’s point of view: so far, so good. More than 10 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance before have signed up. But congressional Republicans are gunning for Obamacare.
Even if they can’t outright repeal it, they want an overhaul.”

What do you want?
A repeal?
An overhaul?
Or are you part of the minority that wants it left as is?

The article continues with:

“And with the debate just getting underway, author Steven Brill, who has spent the past two years immersing himself in the subject, has come out with a new book, “America’s Bitter Pill,” that takes a comprehensive look at what the new law does and doesn’t do. Brill argues that Obamacare is the product of what he calls an “orgy of lobbying” and backroom deals in which just about everyone with a stake in the $3-trillion-a-year health industry came out ahead – except the taxpayers.”

Will you be buying Brill’s book?
Do you agree with Brill’s assessment of the situation?

The article goes on:

“Steven Brill: Good news: More people are gonna get health care. Bad news: We have no way in the world that we’re gonna be able to pay for it.

“Steven Brill says that the outrage is what the Affordable Care Act doesn’t do.

“Steven Brill: It doesn’t do anything on medical malpractice reform. It doesn’t do anything to control drug prices. It doesn’t do anything to control hospital profits.

“Brill says he has come to appreciate the good that the Affordable Care Act has done – in that it’s a safety net for so many people like the Recchis. But he wants the public to know that what was to be at its heart – driving down the cost of health care – was neglected, and it’s the taxpayers who are left holding the bag.”

The article continues with a look at one particular family: the Recchi family of Lancaster, Ohio.

Do you, or someone you know, have a story similar to the Recchi family?

The next section of the article is focused on one non-profit hospital: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, reportedly “the largest employer in all of Pennsylvania…by one estimate, the nation’s top grossing nonprofit hospital.” They have created their own insurance company.

“His insurance company’s policies can be used at his hospitals as well as selected rival hospitals in the state. He thinks this idea of hospitals with their own insurance companies could be a model for the nation, and the best way to reduce inflated costs.”

What do you think of this solution?
Good idea?
Bad idea?

The article closes with:

“Lesley Stahl: Is there any way now to go back and add cost containment?

“Steven Brill: It was impossible then; it’s more impossible now. When this becomes a fiscal crisis, that may be the ultimate res–

“Lesley Stahl: But you have to wait for it to be a crisis?

“Steven Brill: Yeah, that’s the way we do a lot of governing in this country; we wait for something to be a crisis. When something becomes a crisis that enough of us care about, then the lobbyists matter a lot less, because we care a lot more.”

Do you think there is a way to successfully address this issue before it’s a crisis?

Our own George Geldin said of the article:

“Good piece. I agree with the author Brill and will look for his book, but it sounds like it will echo my thoughts on the current state of healthcare and healthcare coverage in the U.S.”

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