The debate about health care on both sides of the Atlantic is hotting up. While Britain appears to be moving towards more private health care provision or at least private provision within the NHS, depending on who you believe, the US Government is trying a different approach.
However President Obama is under pressure from Republicans and their supporters, notably health insurance companies, particularly over affordability.
The Government in the US pushed through the provision which will make taking out health care insurance compulsory. However the Government also said they would heavily subsidise this for those who cannot afford it.
While this plan was welcomed by poorer sections of the community, it has been attacked by the Republican Party as being unaffordable. They say it’s unaffordable because of the US deficit. Oddly, this argument is not being emphasised in Britain.
As with the UK, there seems to be a developing demarcation between those on the left of the political spectrum and those on the right. Left wingers believe that Government has a role to play in national health care while those on the right believe that the market will always sort things out, even if this takes some time to filter down to those less fortunate.
The Republican Party also says that even if the Government had a role to play, the very fact that there is insufficient money to play with, (till there is substantial growth) makes the Obama plans wrong at this time.
According to US political analysts Obama has some explaining to do. One columnist wrote in the Washington Post: “President Obama is sure to discuss America’s long-term fiscal situation Tuesday night, as Taylor suggests.
“But the president often insists on the importance of more careful budgeting. The question really is: Will Obama start to explain more successfully what deficit hawkery looks like when you favour a robust social safety net — including both entitlements and worthy domestic discretionary spending?
“Because the GOP is winning on the politics of the deficit, and they may begin winning on the policy, too.”