The Washington Post’s Steve Pearlstein has written this week’s must-read column on the health care debate. The health care reforms that are being proposed will make life better for almost everyone in America, if for no other reason than because they will alleviate the fear of losing your health insurance if you lose your job, or using up your “maximum lifetime benefit” if you get really sick, or being subjected to recission if you start drawing on your health insurance too much. In the meantime, we have one political party opposing all of these reforms because they are afraid of the political consequences if they pass. In terms of game theory that makes sense, but in terms of public service, it is barbaric.
Update: Canadian MP Bob Rae remarks on the health care debate in the US:
Even the most conservative of political parties in Canada want to maintain the integrity of our system, just as in communities and provinces we figure out how to improve both the excellence of and access to what we have. We shouldn’t be afraid of a debate or a discussion, but since “the Canadian system” has been made the whipping boy of the Republican lobby in the U.S. it’s high time we fought back, with facts, figures, and the deep reality of our shared experience with universal insurance coverage.
If the U.S. falters in their quest for a better system, it will be their loss. I don’t really hear many voices in their political system arguing for “the Canadian solution.” It’s a false debate. The questions are simple. Should anyone be denied health care because of their income, disability, or illness? (No.) Should patients be able to choose their doctors, and advocate for speedy, effective treatment? (Yes.) Should insurers, taxpayers, and premium payers be worried about how to control costs as an ageing society combines with great technological advance to produce an expensive mix? (Yes.)
I have to give bonus points though to a commenter on the article, Ryan Androsoff, who writes:
The heath care debate right now in the United States reminds me of one of the classic lines from the Simpsons: “Man, you’ve got to help me. I’ve tried nothing and I’m all out of ideas!”