Thursday, March 05, 2009

Not Gonna Work

This health care reform attempt:

A White House forum on healthcare started on Thursday and included a range of players, from health policy experts who want guaranteed health insurance to lawmakers who want to focus on saving money. But any eventual reform is likely to be a patchwork of compromises.

President Barack Obama has said he wants a wide buy-in to whatever plan emerges.

He knows that healthcare reform has defeated many before him. But he also knows he has three big advantages this time: the ballooning cost of private and public health insurance, the economic recession, and widespread agreement that the U.S. system does not work any more.

He is framing his healthcare reform proposals as a way to fix the economy, create new jobs and reduce deficits.

"This time, the call for reform is coming from the bottom up and from all across the spectrum -- from doctors, from nurses, from patients; from unions, from businesses; from hospitals, health care providers, community groups," Obama told the opening session of his meeting.

Yet in almost the next breath, he made clear he is going to allow, even encourage, a debate about how to get there.

And why is it not going to work? Very simply: the goals of universal coverage and containing health care costs cannot be achieved without a single-payer system, and these people will not want a single payer.

A single-payer system is not without its own problems. But without it the costs will go on rising. It's possible to achieve a slow-down in the rate of cost increases and some kind of an intermediate peace. But the problems will come back bigger in a few years.
Funny that the article I quote above calls it a patchwork approach and so does my linked article...