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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Health Care Realities

Many of the noisiest opponents of health care reform and universal health coverage are people who have not had many major encounters with the health care system in this country. People who have found themselves in that unfortunate situation, who have seen how it doesn't work from the inside, tend to be more supportive of change.

Roger Ebert, who has had more than his share of medical maladies in the last few years, has been writing about the need for reform. Here's his latest, in which he counters some of the bogus arguments put forth by the opposition.

As for those who say a public option would hurt competition within the private insurance industry, a new study by the Urban Institute says there isn't that much competition now -- in most parts of the country, one or two insurers dominate the market, which means higher premiums for you, the consumer.

Meanwhile, Lou Dobbs (of all people) has been running a series investigating how health care works in other nations which offer universal health coverage. Dobbs finds himself amazed at how well they work, how much less expensive they are than the current US model, and how satisfied the patients are with the system in their countries. He goes on to wonder, rightly, why politicians of both parties here aren't talking about and comparing ours with theirs. The series started with this report by Kitty Pilgrim on Denmark...