21 March 2007

Big bucks to keep us in the dark

Pennsylvania is in the same position as California, with a governor pushing so-called universal healthcare that enshrines junk insurance, while a good single-payer bill languishes in the state legislature.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an op-ed by an English prof yesterday laying the story out.

I'm just a lowly English B.A., but to me her first paragraph could have used a wee touch of editing:
It is no secret that health care in this country needs a fix. About 47 million people don't have any health insurance, including more than a third of families with incomes of $40,900 or more.
I think what she means is that a third of the uninsured have household incomes of $40,900 or more, which is rather different than what this reads.

I like the way she describes why the private insurance model doesn't work. She writes: "Administrative expenses, created largely by the many layers of the health-insurance system, and insurance-company profits take one out of every five health-care dollars."

Although there again there's a misplaced comma. Picky, picky, picky. This is better:
We in the United States are unfamiliar with the single-payer option because tremendous amounts of money are spent by the medical-insurance and pharmaceutical industries to keep us in the dark. They would lose big bucks if we chose to go this route...

The corporate opposition to single payer exaggerates flaws that some systems have, or had, ignoring the fact that our health care is rationed by income. If you are poor, you may well get inferior health care all of your life. We could learn from problems elsewhere and thus develop the best truly universal health-care system of all.
That's exactly right.

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