Former New Hampshire Gov. Judd Gregg has called President Barack Obama's claim that 7 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare "a breathtakingly deceptive declaration."
The former three-term senator said in an opinion piece in The Hill
that the president has conveniently forgotten that millions of people are in "healthcare limbo" as they attempt "to figure out what their coverage is, who will provide it, and at what cost."
Gregg said, "Most important, it is now rather obvious that Obamacare is not going to insure a very large share of the previously uninsured population."
The former chairman of the Senate Budget Committee also attacked Obamacare for significantly undermining "the cause of delivering high-quality healthcare" at a reasonable cost.
He pointed out that statistics show one-quarter of all healthcare spending revolves around 1 percent of the nation, while half of all healthcare costs center around less than 5 percent of the population. Furthermore, he maintains, 65 percent of healthcare spending involves just 10 percent of Americans.
Gregg also noted that half of the population pays out less than $240 a year on healthcare coverage.
The ex-governor said that one answer to the healthcare problem is to reduce the average cost of care for people with such chronic illnesses as cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease, which require about $35,000 a year for each patient.
Claiming it would cut government costs by 20 percent and save $300 billion annually, Gregg added, "This is a doable goal if the delivery system is built with a focus on this group of people. Instead, Obamacare gives equal emphasis to everyone."
He continued, "The primary goal should be to give better quality to those who are sick at an affordable price. The focus should not be on the uninsured or on supplying the general population with coverage they do not need. It should be on creating centers of excellence at the delivery level that get the best healthcare to the chronically ill at the most affordable price.
"Reaching this goal also requires a much more aggressive effort to deal with end-of-life issues — a subject which it is extremely difficult for our political system to address in a manner that does not lead to a shouting match."
Gregg said the uninsured must have coverage, especially in catastrophic cases of emergency like a person falling off a motorbike.
"But this can be handled without requiring the expense and dislocation generated by Obamacare and its mandate to, in essence, cover everyone equally," Gregg told The Hill.
"In any event, Obamacare has dramatically failed to even achieve that purpose. Rather, it has caused a massive misdirection of effort. It is an opportunity missed. This is almost inexplicable, when you have facts that point the way in such a stark and clear manner."
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