Thursday, August 28, 2008


Universal Health Care

This is a political issue. It shouldn't be. The issue should be "how" to achieve universal health care, not "whether" to achieve it. Today is issue is "whether." Conservatives (Most Republicans and some Democrats and Libertarians) argue that government should not undertake to provide universal health care to all Americans. Their reasons vary. The usual excuses are (1) it's too expensive and we can't afford it and (2) if government tries to run it, it will be poorly and inefficiently run because government can't do anything right. Liberals or Progressives argue that universal health care should be a right, just like the right to fire and police protection and the right to a public education of good quality.

A majority of the public wants and has wanted Universal Health Care for many years. The political parties should debate how to provide it. Should we use the model of the Canadians, with government providing the payments to private hospitals, doctors, clinics, etc.? Should we use the model of the British, with doctors and other health care providers employed by the government to provide medical services as needed? Should we use the model of the Germans with pools or associations to provide affordable insurance to all?

We should debate how, not whether.
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