The USA has for a couple of years now been going through a tremendous legal wrangle over President Obama’s health care reforms. Many opposed believe that the change will cost so much it will be self defeating.
The aim of the reforms is to help those US families who are either unable to afford proper medical insurance or have in the past been denied insurance because of pre-conditions.
However, new research has found that far from costing more money, when the poor are helped the costs actually fall.
This view no doubt will be anathema to those on the political right in America who believe universal health care is wrong. In fact Republicans have, since Obama proposed his health care Bill, been redoubling their efforts to kill it before it comes into operation in 2014.
Speaking with reporters however, David Neumark, a co-author of the study said: “In a case study involving low-income people enrolled in a community-based health insurance program, we found that use of primary care increased but use of emergency services fell, and — over time — total health care costs declined.”
He added: “A lot of the debate about health care reform surrounds the issue of whether we’re setting up something that’s going to cost us more by increasing use of medical services or something that will cut costs through more appropriate and timely use of medical services.
“Over time, costs can be reduced through increased use of primary care and reductions in emergency-department visits and hospital admissions, but it may take several years of coverage for substantive savings to occur.”
The study itself was carried out in the State of Virginia, with particular focus on uninsured people living in the city of Richmond, which has some sort of State run health care support. Researchers found that costs fell by about 50% over a three-year period after they received insurance.
There are around 16 million American citizens which the new Bill hopes to help. However, anti health care Republicans believe that poor people use an abnormally high number of services because they are unable to afford health care costs. This, in turn adds to the costs for those who can afford health insurance.
But it seems this latest research debunks that view.