Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fred: Still Waiting for Constructive Alternative Proposals...

Hello, everyone.

I'm sorry, but in such comments I see mainly ideological broadsides, not practical suggestions for how to improve things. Sure, we can move to a Hobbesian world where everyone is on his/her own, the fittest survive (even thrive!), and the rest get ground out of existence. But I think that, as a society, we are all in this together and have some responsibility to prevent catastrophe (sometimes deserved, more often not) from overwhelming those whom, after all, we choose to call our "fellow citizens". The talk of "socialized medicine" and references to USSR-style commissars are scare tactics--no one is seriously proposing such things. (And, probably, notions circulated by the health insurance companies.) A comprehensive health care system is not unattainable within the context of a democratic society: Canada does it, France does it, England does it, Germany does it, Denmark does it, Finland does it, Sweden does it, Norway does it, Spain does it, Portugal does it, Austria does it, Israel does why can't we do it? Their systems are not perfect, but they're better than the mess we have today, unless you're very wealthy.

Our national health care situation will not get better by doing nothing: the number of uninsured will continue to grow, and costs of medical care will continue to increase. Yes, there are serious cost concerns that must be considered, we don't want to bankrupt the country. The question is: what can we do, in practical terms, to provide, at reasonable cost, some level of comprehensive health care/coverage for our citizenry? At least for basic medical needs? OK, you don't like Congress's current plan. But I'm still waiting for constructive alternative proposals from the more conservative side of this conversation on what we *should* do; Bruce's suggestion that medicare fraud be reduced is about the only exception--a good suggestion, too, we should explore it further. Other than that, I've heard mainly a lot of reasons to sit on our hands and let things continue to spiral downward.

Best, -Fred

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