Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Health Care Reform

I would never have imagined that I would at one point support a hack like Harry Reid over Joe Lieberman, but then came along health care reform, and the specific plans the Democrats are pushing. Lieberman said he will filibuster to stop the Democratic plan that is now headed to the Senate, something I find terribly unfortunate. On the issue of health care, I am still very much to the left of the debate in the US, as I think a universal single-payer system is inevitable and desirable. The fact that it is so incredibly difficult to even implement a “public option” that covers just a handful of Americans is a depressing reflection of how politics is currently practiced in the good old US of A.

You may have noticed that this is my first post on the whole health care debate that has engulfed American politics for the last few months. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, I think it is perhaps the most important domestic issue the US currently faces; it’s that I truthfully have little to add to the debate in any meaningful way. I read the papers and browse the alternative bills offered up by members of congress and various think tanks, but the specifics behind the plans is beyond my realm of interest.

I haven’t lived in the US for some time now which adds to my dislocation from the debates around domestic issues back home. A few years back I was slamming the Democrats for their foreign policy naivety and posturing, and found myself conversing with other liberals and lefties who believed the US needed to commit itself to the promotion of democracy, and should not make the mistake of falling back into the realpolitic trap. Many of us still supported liberal and socialist programs, but that debate took a backseat to the foreign policy one. Now that American attention has focused intensely on local issues and less on international concerns, I find that I have little of substance to contribute to the things other bloggers and commentators are arguing. Which is why, in a nutshell, I have said nothing of America’s healthcare woes.

I do however hope that a better system will be in place by January, but I have serious doubts we will see any type of change.


Stephanie said...

Great insight. I do believe that we will see serious change after this legislation gets through. In fact, the best chance we have for substanitive change is to use an existing successful model like this one: http://cli.gs/23yYaM/

Daniel Stark said...

I have problems with mandates and have problems with not offering any assistance to those who can't afford adequate health-care, which makes me more center leaning in this debate. I hope something of worth comes out of all of this.

Roland Dodds said...

I don’t think there will be “universal” healthcare or even an extensive public option in the coming years, but I do think that a more centralized system is inevitable, and that we were already well on our way to creating such a system long before Obama. I still have a lagging libertarian distrust of massive government programs that are difficult to roll back if they don’t function well, so I don’t belittle conservative criticisms of a government health run system. I simply don’t see a better way of getting adequate healthcare into every American’s hands without it.

Anonymous said...

"I still have a lagging libertarian distrust of massive government programs that are difficult to roll back if they don’t function well ..."

And therefore you suppport a single payer universal health care system? Somethings wrong here.