I need to get smarter about the healthcare debate

Having spent way too much time with healthcare providers, insurance companies, etc, in the last 4 years, I certainly support change. Almost any change, change for change’s sake, is worth trying, because the system is not very satisfying right now. We should clearly try to do something. So I am inclined towards supporting the new proposals in Congress. I need to get smarter about the details.

In general, shifting power away from the monied interests — insurance companies, pharma companies, large healthcare organizations — and towards the individuals — patients and doctors — is the right thing to do. Do the proposals achieve this? I don’t know. Certainly some insurance companies are pissed off which is probably a good sign, tho other pharma and insurance companies are funding support ads which is concerning — if they are so excited about the proposals, it probably means money in their pockets, and that money is coming from someone.

I kind of hate the fact that all these large organizations — pharma, insurance cos, the various NGOs — are even participating in the discussion. My view is that only voters/citizens should participate, it should be illegal for all these other entities to fund ads and lobbying efforts.

2 thoughts to “I need to get smarter about the healthcare debate”

  1. It’s clear the health system is broken and on an unsustainable path. In a way, it would be comfortingly simple it was all the fault of external forces, like greedy corporations, or the government, or lawyers.

    I fear the problem is deeper and harder to fix– the problem is that voters and citizens take a short term view, and are unwilling to sacrifice comfort in the short term in order to ensure a good life for our children.

    This transcends politics and party affiliation. Most of the people who oppose “socialized medicine” would just as adamantly oppose a pure market-based approach which exposed people to more of the costs of their healthcare or insurance payments.

    If it means sacrifice, we’d rather put our heads in the sand and wait for things to collapse than try to anticipate any problems.

    The other problem, of course, is that we the people seem to have lost the ability to have a respectful discussion and reach better decisions collectively than we could individually. It saddens me to see that public discussions have become a contest of who can shout the loudest and hurl the most abuse.

    Short-sighted thinking and uncivil behavior are easily exploited by monied interests, but they’d be a problem even if those interest didn’t exist.

    At the end of the day, as with so many other big problems, it’s not clear to me that either markets or the political process are at all on track to do anything to avert the trainwreck.

  2. Pretty much the same conversation we are having around here. we are frustrated with the process and the tone of the discussion. i try to remain optimistic that over time, cooler heads will prevail.

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