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Showing posts from February, 2010

Health care, single payer and the U.S.

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Health care in the United States has several defining characteristics: it's extremely effective and high quality for the wealthy, difficult to receive for the poor, and extraordinarily cost inefficient and expensive as a system. Everyone wants to stop the skyrocketing cost of the health care system, many want to establish universal coverage. The first step has to be to control costs, and the best way to do that is with a single payer health care system.

The current system is patchwork and somewhat ad hoc, a mixture of public and private facilities providing care with a mixture of public and private funds. This fragmented system is different in every state and every community, built based on local priorities and resources yet straining almost everywhere to keep from falling apart. Politicians in the last two years have debated many strategies for reform, focusing on extending access to health care to more of the people who need it. That is a noble and just goal, but it has a fatal…