Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Alternative?

As either reader of this space knows, I am strongly in favor of single payer system health care. Single payer would eliminate a lot of unnecessary administrative cost the private insurance market imposes on health care, reduce financial burdens on employers, free workers from dependence on employment for health care and provide universal access to care.

Today, I came across Ron Wyden's health care bill. It's not single payer but certainly seems to be worth considering. About the only thing that Wyden's bill does not do is eliminate for profit insurance companies from the system, an omission I am willing to consider if insurance companies actually compete in a market where individuals, not the companies, have real choice.

What amazes me about Wyden's bill is that, on first encounter, it seems to have most everything--access, cost control, choice and even bipartisan support--yet cannot get any traction in Congress. I call that a sign of a truly perverse system.

Read the summary of the bill and if you are particularly diligent, the bill itself. Single Payer isn't necessarily the answer to reforming America's health care, it's just the best we've come up with so far. If Ron Wyden has a better idea, I'll listen.

(h/t to Jacob Weisberg at Slate)


It boggles the mind that I link to The New Republic, but this article gives a good account of the current status of health care reform