24 September 2008

Right meets left

A provocative piece over at the Great Orange Satan (that would be Daily Kos) titled "A Conservative Case for Universal Health Care."

Some key points:

  • Government already controls about half of the health care market and it will get larger. Any hope of creating an efficient "free market" here is fantasy.
  • Liberals need to hold their nose and concede a "relief valve" like there is in Great Britain, where people and companies can purchase insurance for health care "above the basics" and jump the queue to a private health care facility. Focus on getting the basics into a universal plan, and let the rich still get some benefit from being rich.
  • ALL health care systems ration. The European systems ration the "middle procedures," those that are "important but not urgent," like knee replacements, and are also forced to look at cost-benefit on speculative treatments. The U.S. instead rations based on who your employer is. My conservatism says we need to look at cost-benefit on some rational basis.
  • Most health care lawsuits are not about "malpractice." They are about fear of loss of future access to health care.
There's more. It's worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. The only problem I (as a Canadian) have with the concept of a 'relief' valve is that in the case of the Canadian system, it decreases, not increases, capacity. Our system is stretched as it is, with a severe shortage of physicians. Removing physicians from the public system and allowing private work for a far higher pay scale means one less physician in the public system seeing non-rich people. This has the effect of making waiting lists for non emergent procedures longer, not shorter, by removing practitioners from the public system.


    As we have seen with already-uninsured procedures as well (thinking vaginal rejuvenation here) this also does not translate into better care for the rich, either. The practitioners who are in to make money rather than serve the public are basically freed up to do just that. An incomplete solution given present regulations.

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