Wednesday, February 13, 2008

single payer

i've mentioned before that i favor obama in the primary. but one issue where clinton has a better proposal than obama is health care. clinton's proposal is designed to provide universal health coverage. obama's does not as his plan would permit people who don't want health insurance to opt out. if people are permitted to opt out, it means there will be uninsured. and it is the existence of uninsured people that is part of what is driving up health care costs in this country. if an uninsured person gets treated at a hospital, the hospital doesn't get paid and recoups those losses by raising prices on everyone else who can pay.

and yet, i'm still for obama. why? there are other issues. but also while i think obama's health care plan is worse than clinton's, i don't particularly like clinton's either.

the thing that drives me crazy about the health care debate in this country is that i think the solution to the health care crisis is obvious: single payer. and yet, even as the politicians are finally trying to address the woeful state of health care in this country, none of them are advocating single payer. and so instead we get the major candidates (including edwards when he was still in the race) proposing complicated plans and contorting themselves into a rhetorical pretzel just to avoid going with single payer.

so why is this? what genius political consult concluded that the american public doesn't want single payer, and how did that bozo's reasoning become conventional wisdom? i mean, we have two programs that are limited single payer systems, S-CHIP and medicare, and both are extremely popular. is there any basis for believing that americans don't want single payer?