We can't afford as a nation to be stupid about paying for health care anymore. alizard, 6 May 2007
Thus, was the concluding sentence of a post advocating the need to solve -- or at least ameliorate -- health care costs to create space for tackling energy problems. ALizard was responding to my comments about commonalities between energy and health care posted to yet another excellent NYCEve discussion of health care issues.
And, well, truth be told: at one point in time, when riding truly on top of the world, the United States could afford to be stupid about many things ... the days where stupidity is a tolerable policy path have passed ... it is time for thought and intelligence to reign.
At some point, being caught between being a pessimistic optimist (or optimistic pessimist), it simply is beyond my comprehension. There are things that simply make common sense, that are the right path forward.
Re energy, moving toward energy efficiency & renewable energy is just "smart" for so many reasons including:
- Reduce foreign trade deficit
- Create jobs
- Foster security (through more resilient and diversified power system)
- Increase economic competitiveness (both through reduced oil imports & through fostering new export technologies/industries)
- Improved health through reduced pollution
- And, oh yeah, have a positive impact on that minor little issue of Global Warming
To me, even a 'minimum' level national health care coverage (everyone with HMO-like) is such a no-brainer for America for so many reasons:
- Economic competitiveness (the 'retiree health care burden' argument as well as taking businesses out of the secondary business of providing employees (bad) health insurance with all the admin related burdens)
- Foster innovation: how many people are health-insurance slaves at a job and don't try a start-up business due to this (the small business discussion of this diary)?
- Improve general health: reduce risk of epidemics as everyone has decent basic health care coverage
- Reduced costs -- through cutting administrative processing, etc (note: US health care costs, with a large percentage of Americans either un- or under-insured, are roughly double those of countries providing universal care, and US health care results are worse as well)
- Improved health care of all Americans (okay, for 99% -- but really, that last 1% will be better protected when everyone around them has decent (okay, basic) health care)
- Basic ethical / moral decency -- it is, simply, right. There is no (NO) excuse in the United States of America for a child to die due to lack of dental care and, well, see NYCEve (Nice Eve) for insights on the pornography called health coverage.
- Improved security -- with lower risk to natural (avian flu) or man-induced (terrorists releasing a weapon) biological emergency due to full access
Yesterday, Joe Romm ((author of the excellent Hell and High Water: --the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do who blogs at
Climate Progress) stated at a meeting of The Climate Project presenters:
Efficiency is not easy, but it is straightforward.
"... not easy, but ... straightforward ..."
- Smart energy policy: not easy, but straightforward.
- Acting responsibly to the enviornment: not easy, but straightforward.
- Moving toward universal health care coverage: not easy, but straightforward.
- Treating the future as if it matters: not easy, but straightforward.
When it comes to being an optimistic pessimist or pessimistic optimist ...
Optimism of the will, pessimism of the mind. These are not contradictory things.
It is never too late to get the best possible result based on the current situation.
DBunn, 28 April 2007
I chose to have optimism of the will when it comes to considering future paths on energy and health care (and other) policy futures.
Honest consideration, to me, makes clear the no-brain sense of changing our paths forward.
And, for both sensible energy policy and universal health care, so many other reasons ... the opposition seems to be coming, for me, from those who are choosing (for whichever philosophical or mistaken economic reasons) to have no brains ...
Both of these just seem to me so 'no-brainer' on all accounts ... it seems to me ... so 'no-brainer' except for those with no brains ...
Stupid might be the framing for the day. See NYCEve's distressing discussion
We are very stupid: Introducing BC/BS of Thailand ...
Stupid ... This potentially is a framing path ... maybe. Everyone believes it of George W, do they think it of the Republican Party as a whole? Could part of the 2008 campaign focus on this? "Okay, we just can't afford to be stupid anymore!"
We can't afford as a nation to be stupid anymore.
Ask yourself: Are you doing your part?