Monday, December 01, 2008

Step 1 in intelligent healthcare reform

Just stumbled across this great article in the Washington Post by Shannon Brownlee and Ezekiel Emanuel, "5 Myths About Our Ailing Health-Care System." Their point is that we need to get in touch with reality before we start the reform process. Here's a taste of the myth-busting:
  1. America has the best health-care system in the world. (Um, no, unless you're ranking countries by how much they spend.)
  2. Somebody else is paying for your health insurance. (Nope--it's your money. Not just Medicare and Medicaid taxes, but also the cash you don't take home 'cause your employer spent it on premiums.)
  3. We would save a lot if we could cut the administrative waste of private insurance. (Not so much: the first wave of managed care squeezed a lot of that out already.)
  4. Health-care reform is going to cost a bundle. (Not necessarily; depends on what you prioritize and what choices you make.)
  5. Americans aren't ready for a major overhaul of the health-care system. (We just might be ready after all. Finally.)
If you want to learn more about how other (better-faring) industrialized nations provide for their citizens' health, check out this edition of Frontline, "Sick Around the World," in which WaPo correspondent T.R. Reid visits other countries to see how their healthcare systems stack up.


Jeff said...

I think Obama has to utilize his political capital immediately to reform the health care industry. I wrote about it today in the Huffington Post -

Marry said...

your words in this article is very good. I like your article.

Sue Trinidad said...

Thanks for the comments--nice when blogging spurs discussion. Kinda the point, yes?

Jeff, I agree: there's a window of opportunity on this issue, and I'd sure hate to see it slam shut on anybody's fingers. The sooner the new administration can move on health care, the better.

We've seen before what happens when we over-committee this issue and try to push to consensus. Not gonna happen: too many industry players have too much to lose. We need decisive action.