Thursday, August 20, 2009

Really, We Have To Fix Health Care.

I was flip about it yesterday to make a point. It's not enough to be opposed to the specter of government-run health care, nor is it enough to insist that health care be considered a right, you have to support some kind of reform plan, because the current system is so broken, it's ridiculous.

Perhaps because of all the idiocy spouted by both the right and left on this subject (I've tried to do my part), some thoughtful and useful analysis has begun to emerge. The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, has written an essay based on free market principles that deserves consideration, not a knee-jerk boycott. David Goldhill, coming from a different direction, has a good one in The Atlantic.

I supported Barack Obama because I believed he stood for finding a sensible middle ground where people try to solve problems, not score points. I still believe that. I hope the administration's plan is to keep trying for as long as it takes to put a health care bill together that provides real solutions.

For example, the state of Illinois offers a 'public option' that allows people to buy state-subsidized health coverage if they are unable to obtain benefits through an employer, and unable to buy affordable coverage in the marketplace. Free marketers have no cause to complain about such a plan because it is available only to people the market has rejected, typically for existing medical conditions or high risk factors such as obesity.

Don't ask if that's socialized medicine, ask if it's a good or bad idea.

There are good ideas out there about what form a sensible plan could take, but you have to tune out a lot of noise to hear them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hogwash. Please don't attempt to sing the praises of a public-option plan, especially if it is any thing to come out of the state of Ill-noise. The state is in a state of economic collapse, because of all the bigger government policies it adopts. I live in Indiana, and I have never in my life seen so many cars with Ill-noise tags in my life. They are economic refugees coming here to escape. The real answer to fixing this country health care woes is a bitter pill few want to take.

Get government out of health care. In every instance, every time government gets involved in anything {student loans, housing via FHA, Medicare/Medicaid, etc}, it artificially causes a rise in the prices of whatever it is it's in! Look at the rise in tuition at state universities. The housing bubble when Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac were underwriting all of those sub-prime loans. Once in place, continued and INCREASED government involvement becomes the norn because the prices are pushed so high, the average person can no longer afford it without a government subsidy. Get government out of it and you could pay for 80% of your health care costs out of pocket. You would only need insurance for catastrophic care, like it was back in the 1960s.Ditto for higher education. Lincoln was poor as dirt, yet he paid his way through college with government guaranteed loans. Before FHA, people put down 20% and had 15 year mortgages. Now they get cash back at the closing with no money down on a 30 yr note. Seems we agree allot more on what is good whiskey than we do on politics. I do not share your optimism of Obama or his administration. I want ALLOT LESS government involvement in my life, not more, which is what a "public option" ultimately is.