I'm tired of dancing around the issue here. It's clear to everyone who doesn't have a compelling financial reason not to, that our current health care system is broken.
So, what is the major problems that we have? Well, if you listen to those on the Right it's that we don't have enough free market freedom to choose an insurance company which will pay our bills. If you listen to those on the center, you'll hear things about the need for some limited government programs for those who can't afford to pay full price to the insurance companies.
As a card carrying member of the Looney Left, I think we should completely abandon the concept of medical insurance, and instead go with something that actually works. Yes, I am advocating complete, socialized medicine.
(More Socialist Ranting on the Flip. Don't Say I didn't Warn you.)
You see, right after World War 2, The British had this idea that maybe, just MAYBE, the government should help out people that were sick. Of course, they had just been through some of the nastiest, dirtiest fighting that the world had ever seen. It affected everyone. In such a time of crisis the idea of a group effort seemed reasonable, and logical. And by gum it, it worked! Despite the horror stories of the Right wing, Socialized medicine does not require death panels and waiting in huge lines. Don't believe me? Well here's some statistics updated from LAST WEEK with regards to how fast people got treated. British Health Statistics (DATA, DULL)
For those who don't want to pore over data the most recent statistics state that Approximately 3000 folks had to wait more than 4 hours, but less than 12 for treatment. Compare that to the "We can see new patients in 2 months" policies which are common among Medicare providers.
So, why after WWII didn't we do the same thing? Well, it's because there really wasn't any fighting over here. Over here, the only people who saw that war were served by the VA. Which was... Wait for it! Yup, socialized medicine from a National Health Service! Of course it only served veterans, and right there was our big mistake.
It's not insurmountable though According to the World Bank, we're spending almost 3 times as much per capita as the UK on health care, and apparently are getting jack shit for it. The insurance industry keeps talking about the need for reform of the system, and how our system is the best in the world, when actually we're in deep, deep shit. Our mortality rates, life expectancy and overall health are worse than other developed countries, and keep getting worse, due to the expanding gap between rich and poor.
Oh but I hear those on the right cry, what if doctors don't WANT to enlist in the NHS? Well, they don't have to! The UK has private doctors for those rich people who want to pay for a personal doctor. Honestly, I think the allure of much less paperwork and the ability to actually concentrate on the job will be a major draw for doctors. The US Army already has a fine trained group of doctors who work quite well. If anything it would be a fine starting point for the expansion and creation of a National Health Service.
So there's my position. I am not going to pretend that it's all as easy as 1-2-3. It will require hard work and effort. There's a lot of infrastructure to set up in this scenario. Infrastructure that needs to be paid for by higher taxes on all of us, not just the rich. But They certainly can and do need to toss in a bit more. And look on the bright side rich folks! You won't have to pay for your employees health care anymore. One more complaint right out the window! Who knows, the health care cost might actually be quite a bit lower. Maybe 1/3 as much.
And maybe it won't work! I mean, maybe we really are exceptional Americans who are unique in the history of the world, and socialized medicine WON'T work for us. Perhaps the sun won't rise tomorrow too.
But it's really not the way to bet.