Wednesday, February 21, 2007

John Edwards Health Care Plan "Pastiche"

A few weeks ago Presidential Candidate John Edwards put forth a health care plan ahead of the other leaders in the U.S. presidential race. At least he set a mark!

John Broder of The New York Times summarized it well

(The brave unelectable candidate Dennis Kucinich is co-sponsoring HR.676-Single payer- Medicare for all)

The trouble with the health care plan mark that Mr. Edwards has set is that it is a true "pastiche-collage-soggy mix and match"(you put in your own metaphor"________________ )multi-component,phased in plan, that still aligns we weary and broke U.S. health consumers with employer based-private insurance industry managed health care which Mr. Edwards himself admits has been a failure.

But to his credit Mr. Edwards says that his plan would create a federal health insurance agency that could someday (when?) become the basis for a single-payer system that would eventually (when?) do away with private health insurance.

Sorry Mr. Edwards, I understand that you can't "steer" a 2 trillion dollar "mega-ship" too quickly or too sharply lest it breaks apart thus producing what many are predicting would be serious dislocations to the US economy. But Mr. Edwards ,the mega-ship you are trying to steer, alas, is the Titanic and we have already hit the proverbial iceberg and sinking fast.

(I'll put aside for now the loss of campaign contributions from the industries that your plan might hurt).

My take is that in recent times we have little reason to trust the health care industries like Big PhRMA or Big BIO, the for profit and "not for profit" high tech Hospital Industry and certainly Big Insurance who feed together,like pigs at the trough, while the patients and even most providers get beaten up and beaten down.

Again in The New York Times Paul Krugman asks the question "is the health insurance business literally a racket?" citing racketeering lawsuits filed by two New York Hospitals against United Health Group.

Anyway we bloggers who attempt to cover this health care issue await the details of the leading other Dems for Prez like Hillary and Obama as well as the leading Pubs for Prez like Rudy Giuliani and Mr. McCain (I'm counting out Mitt Romney because I don't believe anyone who is named after a piece of athletic equipment or clothing can be president)

Anyway, thanks again Mr.Edwards for the kickstart which places increasing pressure on the other candidates to put forth details on their own health care reform plans.

A dear friend of mine believes in incrementalism as you seem to. He calls it "one slice of baloney at a time". Actually I wish he said salami because, so far, most of what I am tasting from the presidential candidates is "baloney" (not the food variety)

Stay tuned folks- When the war plans become clear, health care reform waits in the wings as the issue that will decide the Presidency in 2008

Dr. Rick Lippin
"Blake"

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great essay - I agree with your overall point - systems-level change means that change really has to occur - in spite of the array of interest groups who will suffer economic loss from any change - as has been so ably described by Paul Krugman
R Virchow

5:44 PM  
Blogger stoney13 said...

All these doctors out there and so very few have a healer's soul!

I'm loosing my medical insurance in March. It seems that the government grant that my employer was using to pay it got pulled out from under us by President Pork Pie. I wonder how many other workers out there are getting the same shaft?

2008 is going to be a very interesting election! Unfortunately I see very little if anything getting changed for the better!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for the link on my TPM thread. Enjoyed reading your post. Hopefully, the bough is finally poised to break on the healthcare debate.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Rick Lippin said...

Anonymous("R. Virchow") and Rob who posts on Health Care issue on TPM cafe and elsewhere believe a systems level/quantum shift must occur. I agree. More incremental "nibbling at the edges" will fail.

Stoney13 - Sorry about your insurance. You are among growing ranks of hardworking Americans who have been screwed. You deserve better. Believe me it is coming.

Dr. Rick Lippin
"Blake"

5:02 AM  

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