Friday, February 17, 2006

Socialized Medicine

If anybody mentions a single payer health system the first thing up is a howl of "Socialized Medicine!!" Here's a piece of news for those folks, you already have it, just a highly bastardized inefficient version. Hospitals, HMOs, and Insurers already pass the cost of unpaid or unfunded health care on to you, after they take their cut. You get to pay for it with sky high premiums and truly nasty bills from the providers. Now the RNC's solution for this is to cut funding for Medicare, rural hospitals, etc and pass a draconian bankruptsy bill so that people can spend the rest of their lives paying for something they couldn't afford to begin with. These are the same people who tout Health Care Savings, now here's an idea only they could come up with, the people who can't afford it are supposed to save money to cover the insurance they can't afford that won't cover the deductibles that they can't afford. Who exactly does a program like this help and what problem does it actually address? Empty rhetoric to impress the public that, "Hey, we're doing something."

Yes, the dirty word is out, single payer system. At least Medicare and Medicaid are somewhat efficient and the system could be tooled up to work well, with incentive to do such a thing. An opt out system with weighted treatments and a prevention priority would work, but the money interests that understand that a 7% return on some money isn't nearly as good as a 7% return on a whole lot of money won't like it. And so ...


verasoie said...

Talking point: we've already got "universal healthcare" (I prefer this term to "single-payer" but won't quibble) because anybody who gets sick can go to an ER and they can't be refused, it justs costs us tons more than it would if they had a regular doc and didn't have to wait until they were really sick before they went in.

In fact, it costs us something like 3 times as much as elsewhere (Western Europe) to provide inferior service (worse health statistics), so we're getting bamboozled!

These are really simple arguments, keep it up and people will understand it--- we pay lots more for a worse product because so much money goes to crazy administrative costs (because we have hundreds of health plans to deal with instead of just one).

Honestly, though, I'm not sure that this should or needs to be a central plank of your campaign, instead of just dissecting Walden's bad votes left and right that hurt your neighbors, but maybe the lack of access to adequate healthcare out there is really a big deal, so follow your gut, just don't forget to pick the low-hanging fruit and nail Walden on being a Bush-patsy.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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