Monday, June 8, 2009

Health Care in the United States

One important political issue that I have had very little to say about over the years has been health care. I was talking with a friend of mine about why this was, and as best I could determine it was simply because the issue was too complex to provide an easy answer for me to support. Not that many of the political issues I've spent time yelling about have been simple, but at least I've read books about subjects such as copyright, environmental policy, agricultural policy, etc. With regards to health care, I have very little background.

So, I set out to try and get a handle on the issue. That has proved somewhat difficult. I know the basic statistics of how the US spends more on health care than any other nation and yet has a life expectancy only in the middle range for developed nations. That the US is the only developed nation without a universal health care system and that 46 million Americans are uninsured. I certainly believe that universal health care should be a right in this country, and I have some idea of the inefficiencies that create our current problem, but I cannot say that I have seen an clear argument for a solution, or any clear estimates of the cost. There is a definite lack of a message out there.

Given my distrust of the right in this country, I lean towards claiming that we should push for a single-payer health care solution, but I still do not know enough. I know that some of the writers at the FiveThirtyEight endorse singles-payer health care, as do various parts of and the Daily Kos, but I have still yet to see a clear example of what a new health care system should look like and what it would do for us.

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