Health Care and the Government
Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.
Two of Andrew Sullivan's readers have responded to Sicko with great insight: the post is worth reading to the end.
There are two points in the debate over health care, however, that I think cannot be repeated often enough:
A single-payer plan would not at all be the same thing as government run health care.
Government run health care would mean that the hospitals and doctors offices became government property, that the doctors and nurses became civil service workers—employees of the government.
A single-payer plan would merely mean that doctors and hospitals would bill the government, much the way they currently bill insurance companies. A government agency, like medicare, would oversee payment, the same way that insurance companies and medicare do now.
The U.S. Veteran's health-care system, which is government run health care, is widely recognized to be significantly more efficient than private-sector health care.
I know, that whole thing about the lousy care for Iraq-war veterans. That was not a question of the efficiency of the overall system, but of a sudden influx of patients, combined with a refusal by a Republican controlled congress to come up with the necessary funds.
Interesting, isn't it, how those in favor of privatization can cut funds to government programs, and then use the results to build a public perception that government can't do anything right?
What this boils down to is the importance of citizens keeping up on the issues. There are a lot more options out there than any of the candidates are going to acknowledge.
Stay alert. If we don't pay attention, no one will.