Feeling good

I’m feeling good today after the reports on the President’s health care initiative yesterday. I had written him a message on the website  a few weeks ago asking why was the notion of a single payer system completely off the table. It might not be the right way to go, but did it hurt to consider it?  The protestors against “socialized” medicine answers the question of why it is not politically feasable – and thus not an option now. It is just combustible. Damn those Reaganites branding it “Socialized” all those years ago. It makes it “that of which we cannot speak”.

Yet, the idea is getting traction. Obama’s public plan is a way to explore the idea without mandating an abrupt and complete overhaul. If – and it is a big if – a public plan goes forward it will give us a chance to see if a single payer system will work. It will be interesting to see the fight that ensues over the idea. No matter how many times he says “if you have insurance you don’t have to change it” some will still rail against the idea of the government having anything to do with healthcare. Why is this idea so frightening? Why are we so certain that the free market system works with healthcare? The evidence certainly seems to say that it does not. We pay more for our health care but we certainly do not have the best. Treatments and procedures and medications are moved from the lab to the bedside not based on what is needed for a healthy society but what will have the biggest profit margin. Why else can we come up with a few new antidepressants a year and yet we still can’t deal with malaria? The free market is a great system. It is great to spur innovation and profits. Super. But, should the goal of the medical establishment be profit alone? It seems counterproductive.

Here’s a link to Bill Moyer’s Journal a few weeks ago regarding the issue. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html


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