Writing at Vox, Sarah Kliff recently laid out one of the major reasons why even those people who have good affordable health insurance hate the U.S. medical system:
She has nailed the common patient experience. Read the whole thing.
Too many medical providers seem oblivious to the demands placed on sick people by the incoherent "system" within which they work. And the sick people are seldom in a position to explode about what they are being put through.
Obamacare has increased access to health insurance for 12.7 million people; reduced medical debt, a common cause of bankruptcy; and freed millions from "job lock," being forced to keep a hated job to maintain insurance coverage. But it has scarcely become more popular for all that; a majority still disapprove of "Obamacare."
Might this resistance to the health law be rooted in the reality that it does little to reduce the "patient labor" that Kliff describes? If accessing the services of the doctor remains painfully demanding, not perhaps of so much cash, but still of unavailable time and attention, no wonder people don't feel that their burdens have been eased.
Kliff's article (and a large part of an installment of the Vox podcast "the Weeds") discusses a possible remedy to this mess, what Obamacare calls "accountable care organizations." But these seem few, far between, and at best unproven alternatives to the existing tangle of medical providers.
Times medical commentator Austin Frakt also reports on the medical tangle:
Yet Frakt goes on to question whether the push for accountable care organizations is really working.
To anyone not embedded in the "system," it would be flat out obvious that what we have is crazy. And it is cruel to those who lack the resources or community support that would enable them to work their way through the maze. That's probably most of us. No wonder Obamacare has never earned a great bump in approval: these were the problems as we experience them -- to this the ACA has not provided relief.
Kaiser is not perfect. Nothing is. But for sheer escape from aggravation when afflicted by ordinary ailments, I doubt of it can be beat. This is the standard that would increase general approval of U.S. healthcare. While patients are expected to do all the coordination work, nothing is going to raise satisfaction.