Posted by Lil Miss Hot Mess on August 19, 2009
Oh dear. It’s like I’ve been having hot flashes since my last post about health care. Or hot-and-cold flashes.
After reading more, I don’t think I’m ready to concede on Single Payer. I take it back. Do I think it’s realistic in this political moment where Sebelius and Obama have allegedly decided that a national public plan isn’t particularly necessary? Probably not. Do I still think it’s our best bet for ensuring access to quality health care for all. Yes, ma’am.
I just watched this really great video from Rachel Maddow about the current situation we’re in:
Here are the three things I appreciate about this video:
I feel like the only thing she’s really missing is an analysis of the insurance lobby (and other corporate interests) in this conversation.
For those who want a more thorough and articulate explanation of why Single Payer is by far the best way to go, I highly recommend these FAQs put out by Physicians for a National Health Program. Reading it is like reading about a dream world:
Who will run the health care system?
There is a myth that with national health insurance the government will make the medical decisions. But in a publicly financed, universal health care system, medical decisions are left to the patient and doctor, as they should be. This is true even in the countries like the U.K. and Spain (or in U.S. systems like the VA) that have socialized medicine.
In a public system, the public has a say in how it’s run. Cost containment measures are publicly managed at the state level by elected and appointed agencies that represent the public. This agency decides on the benefit package and negotiates doctor fees and hospital budgets. It also is responsible for health planning and the distribution of expensive technology. Thus, the total budget for health care is set through a public, democratic process. But clinical decisions remain a private matter between doctor and patient.
Also, I want to once again plug the organization that my friends are working on: The Young Invincibles. While I’d rather see a strong movement for Single Payer, I actually think we’re sort of in a “both/and” moment now. That is, we’ve really got to hold onto our vision while still pushing back on the attacks against a watered-down version of a national health plan. I think Young Invincibles will do great work of mobilizing people, and even if we aren’t likely to get Single Payer now, it’s still worth keeping the door open.