Sunday, March 1, 2009

Health Care Reform Needed Now

By now you must have noticed that I am enamored with Nicholas Kristof. His latest column "Franklin Delano Obama" in the New York Times is fantastic. He examines three common arguments against health care reform proposals:
  1. "We have the best health care in the world, and you want to create a socialized bureaucracy?"
  2. "You want to wait months for a necessary operation, as in Canada?"
  3. "You really want higher taxes to pay for this, stifling the economy and undermining our long-term competitiveness?"
The economic crisis highlights the fundamental problem of insurer-based system that requires (or nearly requires) employment. Each day people are losing their jobs and with it their health insurance.

Yet, health insurance alone is not going to solve America's poor health or its obesity epidemic. As Kristof explains, the health of Americans is embarrassingly low despite our technological advances and per-capita health care spending. Our health "care" system must move away from its treatment-focus and adopt policies and programs that invest heavily in prevention and is balanced throughout the prevention-treatment continuum.

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