NYT: Strikes and Attack Ads: The Hard Roads to Universal Health Care
March 11, 2020 at 6:41 AM - Views: 11 #284290
- Total Posts: 5,354
Abroad, the arguments made against universal coverage were similar to those we hear today: that it’s just too expensive, or gives government too much control over the practice of medicine.
“No country did this without a huge political conflict,” said Jacob Hacker, a professor of political science at Yale who studies the formation of international health systems. “But once they put in the strong, basic foundations, there was no going back.”
Mr. Hacker said: “People look at the current levels of support that other systems have, and extrapolate backwards to think that universal coverage was always popular. But that isn’t the case. Everywhere this happened, it was a very fierce fight.”
“The American political system makes this harder,” said Mr. Hacker, the Yale professor. “The kind of determined, take-no-prisoners approach that happened in some provinces like Saskatchewan doesn’t work as well here.”
Comment by Don McCanne of PNHP: The lesson here is clear. All nations that have universal health care systems experienced significant political struggles to achieve them. The fact that there are political barriers ahead is never a reason to not move forward with reform.
In the case of the United States, the leading proposal for universal health care – the single payer model of an improved Medicare for All – once enacted and implemented would be the finest health care system in all the world – the pride of all Americans.
So what are the barriers? It costs too much? No, we are already spending enough to provide comprehensive care for everyone. Doctors and hospitals would be underpaid? No, the hundreds of billions of dollars in administrative waste that would be recovered is enough to adequately fund the system. Waiting times would be too great? No, resource allocation would be improved, helping to reduce some of the excessive queues we now have. Superfluous vested interests such as the private insurers would lose out? Yes, but that would allow health care dollars to be redirected to patient care, where they belong. Anti-government ideologues would be offended? And what is their counter-offer to ensure health care for all? Leave it to the marketplace? Kenneth Arrow taught us that lesson many decades ago.
So what about the politics of 2020? The Republicans wanted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but they have not found a replacement that would work. In the meantime there had been a crescendo of support for Medicare for All, but now the Democratic leadership has declared that, in order to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election, we must abandon Medicare for All. What? That’s a non sequitur. Yet in only one week there was a massive shift of Democratic voters from the candidate supporting Medicare for All to a candidate who was outspoken in opposing it.
There is certainly strong opposition to President Trump within the Democratic Party, but how did the spinmeisters transfer that to voting against one of the most outspoken Trump opponents who happened to be the leading supporter for Medicare for All? As today’s article indicates, there will always be significant barriers to enacting a program of universal health care. We have to identify those barriers and knock them down.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
March 11, 2020 at 7:09 AM #284297
- Total Posts: 2,793
Yep – the Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks have played their cards well. They have Americans convinced that M4All is the stepping stone to full-on Marxism and communism. Never mind that most Americans really have no idea what those terms mean. Nonetheless, propaganda and mass media have already taken their toll and fear runs rampant. And now with the impending defeat of Bernie, Americans will be bereft of good healthcare for a generation or more as the left necessarily reorganizes.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
- John F. Kennedy
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"They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
Rather than truth as the authority."
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