The Obama administration is giving up on its August deadline for Congress to pass health care reform legislation, according to press reports. But far worse is what the administration has given up in the substance of the proposals–caving to pressure from a health care industry determined to maintain its power and profits.
Dr. Quentin Young is a veteran of struggles for civil rights and social justice, and a leading member of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). He talked to Elizabeth Schulte about why the proposals currently being discussed in Washington fall short of what’s needed.
EEEK!!! A single-payer advocate! Doesn’t he know that the perfect is the enemy of the good? Well…maybe he realizes that the perfect may be the enemy of the good if what’s called good actually is good.
WHAT DO you think of the proposals for health care reform as they stand now in Washington?
PHYSICIANS FOR a National Health Program have had an analysis of the problem in the health care system for some years. Every new development seems to confirm the accuracy of our analysis. To be explicit, the problem is the private insurance company, which is a giant enterprise and has grown each year as the health care costs explode.
Here’s something we all can agree on. A for profit system tends to look at, surprise, profit as the main motivator. Sure, they may have to take care of a few sick folk, but only if the sick folk pay out the nose.
Everyone is familiar with the figure that one-sixth of the gross domestic product now goes to health care, and that’s a spectacular figure. It turned out to be $2.5 trillion last year. I know a trillion doesn’t sound as surprising as it once did, but that’s a lot of money–it amounts to just under $8,000 per person in the country.
If single payer is enacted, it would fall within that $2.5 trillion. So the question is, why not go for single payer when it will cover everyone? Two major reasons. The first is that the money from the health insurance shysters won’t be flowing toward the politicians. The second is that the ‘perfect is the enemy of the gooders’ are the dominant mindset amongst even ‘progressives.’ Money and caution are a powerful combination.
As you know, this country now has about 50 million people who are uninsured, and the number is rising. The tragic reality is that many, many millions more will almost certainly lose their insurance coverage in the immediate period ahead because of the economic downturn.
I’ll let you read the rest of the article. Dr. Young sets out the reasons why single payer is superior to the for profit system we have now. He also points out that the public option isn’t as great as it’s cracked up to be.
With health care reform now being put off until at least October, now’s the time for single payer supporters to rally and put pressure on Congress. Those Congress members who don’t support single payer should see people out on the street in support of single payer. If that were to happen, perhaps their minds could be changed.