For most people in the health policy community, the word “coverage” carries a certain emotional power. People without health insurance coverage, we believe, are one bad break away from disability and destitution. Hence, many politicians, researchers, and activists believe that expanding coverage is more important than any other policy goal. But not all health insurance is created equal. Indeed, there are tens of millions of Americans who believe they have “health insurance” who can’t get actual health care when they truly need it. If Obamacare remains the law of the land, this problem will get worse, not better.
Earlier this month, in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Mitt Romney pointed out that, in America, anyone who has a heart attack has access to hospital care. “We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’” he said. “No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government, or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”