My mom and I were talking this morning about the latest news on health care reform. I told her that Sherman is pretty much on board with the idea that health care should be a right, like education or clean air. He’s not sure about how it should be implemented but he doesn’t feel it should be completely left up to free markets, like say, the restaurant business. My mom was talking about conversations with her friends and their fear of Medicare cuts. She had her facts down cold but Baseline Scenario has a well-written post about this very issue. Basically, Medicare spending HAS to be reduced or we will plunge deeper into fiscal chaos. Seniors need to take control of the reform debate now so they don’t face draconian cuts later. And if you want some fun (but true) reading, follow the link to A ‘Common Sense’ American Health Reform Plan.
The current proposals I see out there don’t have any fundamental changes to the way we approach health care. I’m afraid if we do see reform come out of Washington this year, it will be a bonanza for the insurance companies by adding millions to their insured rolls. What I don’t see is a way to save costs, LOTS of costs. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote a wonderful piece over at HuffPo that really captures the essence of this concept. We in America pay more for less (less quality, I mean).
I challenge everyone who believes in real healthcare reform, and not just health insurance expansion, to really try to engage people in this debate. What qualities would their ideal system possess? What would it avoid? Why do we need reform; why isn’t the status quo acceptable? What are they afraid of if the system changes? I will be glad to provide research to address specific questions. No system is perfect, but ours is not the shining star we like to profess. Even the oft-maligned (by American conservatives, at least) NHS in the U.K. has many fans, including the brilliant Stephen Hawking. But I’m sure he’s just been influenced by the liberal media.