Friday, March 28, 2008

Tula Connell On Health Care

No, that's not Tula Connell, that's Micheal Moore. Same subject, though.

Over at Firedoglake, Tula Connell wrote about our health care system yesterday with a clarity I wish that more people in the news business could do:

Many people who wrote in had experienced the health care systems of Canada, Great Britain, France or Sweden—and say, by comparison, the U.S. system stinks. Their firsthand experiences are a stark contrast to the media noise machine that repeats ad nauseum (pun intended) how lucky we are in this country not to suffer through state-backed health care systems where we would—gasp—wait in line for care. Like what planet without HMOs do those writers live on?

Sick, Sick, Sick. Health Care in America

Ms. Connell has been helping the AFL-CIO conduct a health care survey, and she's reporting on some of the responses. It's not an eye-opener for anyone who's had to deal with the health care system as an ordinary working stiff. My guess, though, is that it's going to cause a few editorialists a bit of vertigo if they ever bother to read it.

It's appalling that even the most progressive health care proposal of the candidates for President, which was John Edwards', still meant to leave the financing of the health care system in the hands of the people who have screwed it up so badly. As I mentioned before, Edwards' was the only one that even took the idea that the insurance companies had an obligation to reform their practices seriously. It has to be one of the most inefficient ways of doing this. Ezra Klein quotes California Health Care Foundation CEO Dr. Mark Smith:

Perhaps at the end of this someone can explain to me why we would insist on paying Aetna 12 bucks so Aetna can pay Medco 10 bucks, so Medco can pay CVS 7 bucks, so CVS can collect a 5 dollar copay per patient, for a drug that the patient could have gone to Costco and paid 4 dollars for. I’m not sure how that is good for society. I understand it’s how we’ve been financing this. But that's different.

How Insurance (Doesn't) Work

Yet this is the system that every Presidential candidate, and many people running for Congress, insist we must preserve.

Whoever wins in November, you can be sure that he, or she, will do nothing useful on behalf of the people who need health care in this country. If positive change is going to happen, the impetus will have to come from elsewhere. Following that link will lead to this petition (more of a pledge, really) on health care.

No comments: