Posted by: coastcontact | January 1, 2017

Affordable Health Care is an Oxymoron

The words “Affordable Health Care” are a contradiction.  By its very nature health care is unaffordable.  That is the reason so many countries have embraced universal health care as a national responsibility. 

The rhetorical term oxymoron, made up of two Greek words meaning “sharp” and “dull,” is itself oxymoronic.

As you probably remember from school, an oxymoron is a compressed paradox: a figure of speech in which seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side. British writer Thomas Gibbons characterized the figure as “sense in the masquerade of folly.”  This explanation comes from

In my opinion the most outrageous oxymoron statement was “Peace for our time.”  It was said by  Neville Chamberlain on September 30, 1938.

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is “peace for our time.” Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.

On September 3, 1939 in response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Britain and France, both allies of the overrun nation declared war on Germany.


While health care is hardly in the same category as a war, the Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable.

Obamacare rates are going way up. The latest estimate from the federal government is that the average midlevel Obamacare plan, the most popular choice, will cost about 22 percent more in 2017 than it did in 2016.  This is based on data from 39 states where people sign up through the website and some preliminary data from four other states and the District of Columbia.

The health care industry is a “for profit” system that hides under the IRS category of “non-profit” but pays its management high rewards.  Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson  earned $2.3 million in salary and other compensation in 2010, according to Kaiser’s federal tax filing.

For profit companies Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and Cigna CEO David Cordani both saw their total pay surge to $17.3 million in 2015 after earning $15 million and $14.5 million, respectively, in 2014.

Over the past six months, Mylan, which is one of the world’s largest purveyors of generic medicines, raised prices more than 20 percent on two dozen products. And Mylan also boosted prices by more that 100 percent on seven other products, according to Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, who called some of the price hikes “exceptionally large.”

So where is the affordability?  The idea of controlled costs is a myth.  There are no laws limiting the profits that hospitals earn, pharmaceutical companies earn, or insurance companies earn.

For reasons that evade me the GOP’s war on Obamacare offers no reasonable alternative.  Of course if their intent is to protect health care profits by returning health care to the way it was before Obamacare was enacted, they are on the right path.


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