Monday, August 24, 2009
A Rational Voice from the Other Side
I suppose it couldn't be more obvious that I am a supporter of health care reform. Although, in all honesty, I still don't know if I am a supporter of this particular approach to health care reform. We definitely have a broken health care system, that's for sure, but how to go about fixing it?
Here is an excellent piece opposing the current plan, and detailing exactly why. Marcian Angell, in a piece from the Huffington Post. Clearly I like the Huffington Post, but I do look to other sources. A sampling from the article:
So it's crucial to ask just why we are spending so much more than other countries. Where is all that money going? Yet, that question is seldom asked in the current debate, even though it's not logical to try to fix something without understanding why it's broken.
I'm putting this here because it was one of the few pieces opposing the current approach to health care reform that doesn't descend into histrionic hyperbole at any point. Unlike many arguments of the opposition this piece is not seeking to frighten people into fleeing from health care reform.
It also mentions the thing my husband and I talk about frequently, which is expanding the boundaries of eligibility for Medicaid.
I agree with a great deal from Angell's piece. It also brings up other countries in an appropriate manner. Why do they have lower overhead? Simply put, they don't treat health care as a for-profit endeavor.
In this debate it is important to carefully consider both sides of the argument. This piece does so without trying to scare anyone witless, without engaging in conspiracy theories, and without suggesting that we're doing swell as we are (because that would be a falsehood of smoldering pants proportions).
I do realize that in many ways this is a more radical approach to reform. We have a situation that may need a tourniquet, and we aren't going to be able to fix it with a bandage, no matter how attractively packaged. We have to start somewhere, maybe it is with Obama's plan even if it is a temporary fix, while we work on the other issues that come with treating health care like a money maker.
I suspect a balance between the two is needed. We have to fix this situation, and it really can't wait for the perfect solution to get the process started. Perhaps Obama's reform combined with a targeted committee to bring health care costs down.
If we do one without the other, the situation will continue to worsen. Marrying the two approaches may be our best bet.