13 January 2007

Back in Kansas...

"Universal healthcare"?

What's that? The Kansas City Star's David Klepper considered the question after Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius called for "universal healthcare" in her State of the State speech Wednesday night.

"Hillarycare" says Kansas House Speaker Melvin Neufeld.

A "code word for socialized medicine," says Kris Kobach, radio talk show host, law professor, and recipient of a Dubya White House Fellowship to work for AG John Ashcroft.

Sebelius must have known she'd get this kind of reaction. She says universal healthcare is access to affordable, high-quality care, but she didn't offer any clues as to how Kansas might get there.

Klepper got a good insight from Sidney Watson, a health care law and policy professor at St. Louis University: Whatever you call it, Watson said, "efforts to create universal coverage often use a patchwork of incentives, requirements and subsidies to reach the goal."

That's because thus far every effort has tried to placate and maintain the insurance industry and other heavy hitters in the medical world.

It could be that it's time to just bite the bullet and adopt a single-payer system. We'd need job retraining for all the insurance industry people whose job it is now to keep people from receiving care, but other than that there's not much downside.

Those folks could possibly go into healthcare.

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