As we end the very-tumultuous, but inspiring, year of 2008, it would serve us well to reflect on where we ought to be going, in 2009, with the Obama-Daschle Administration health care initiatives.
To that end, I read with keen interest a piece Gooznews points to, over at the American Prospect -- exploring the idea of what it really means to be "for universal coverage" in the US -- and, it decidedly does not mean that your insurer is your friend. At least, that is the author's premise.
There are no easy answers here, but I think the point of the post was to provoke people to ask the best, most-illuminating questions -- and the commenters at the Amercian Prospect post have risen to the task. For example, I think one of the most important questions is what are we willing to "trade" -- rationally, openly, trade -- in order to receive truly universal care -- at some level of coverage, for all. To be sure, each of us will find something to disagree with over there. And that is a good thing. But one point seems inescapable: rationing.
Rationing is going to be the reality of 2009, and beyond. So, let's do it in a rational, thoughtful and, to the extent possible, compassionate way. It is the reality. Now, before you come unglued about how unfair that all sounds, do recognize the truth of what one of the most cogent commenters points out -- it is true that we have always endured "rationing" of health-care here in the US. Always.
It has been, in the main, the brutally-blunt outright denial of care -- to 49 million of us -- those without health insurance. And 25 million of those are children. Children. That must change. My belief is that we all must openly, rationally "trade" some part of our luxury-level care -- to get at least basic care, for all.
Here's a snippet, but do go read all the comments:
. . . .The notion that rationing isn't already occurring in the most brutal sense is absurd. There are hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths due to the inaccessibility and unaffordability of healthcare. The Massachusetts plan has moved essential health CARE dollars to useless health insurance policies, providing profits to the commercial insurers at the direct expense of the newly insured who now can afford even less care and services since their money was diverted to insurance. . . .
Posted by Annie at December 26, 2008 03:10 PM