In yesterday’s NY Times, an article entitled A Public Option That Works showed up on the Op-Ed page. It is worth reading because the
…San Francisco experiment has demonstrated that requiring a shared-responsibility model – in which employers pay to help achieve universal coverage – has not led to the kind of job losses many fear. The public option has also passed the market test, while not crowding out private options. The positive changes in San Francisco provide a glimpse of what the future might look like if Washington passes substantial health reform this year.
Indeed, when it is tried in experiments like San Francisco and Massachusetts, the great fears that the opponents of the Public Option try to promote essentially do not appear.
No matter what the image that the Sarah Palins and Sean Hannitys of the world try to promote, reality gives us a much different picture of the potential for the Public Option… without destroying the private market, without providing insurance for illegal immigrants and, of course, without making Death Panels to consign the retired to the graveyard.
If we don’t see this situation, it is clear that the rest of the world sees us in a different light. This from the Times of London:
The bizarre US healthcare debate, replete with wild distortions of the NHS, must seem incomprehensible to many in the UK. News reports have emphasised images of enraged conservatives fearing fabricated “death panels” or traumatised elderly people urging “hands off my Medicare”.
They face mostly Democratic legislators and some liberal advocacy groups who are circling their wagons around an embattled President Obama to defend their proposed minor revisions to the status quo after already surrendering more comprehensive reform.
To other industrialised countries, this fear of government having a role in protecting the health and safety of its citizens must seem especially hard to fathom. Among leading nations, only in the US is healthcare not a fundamental right, but bartered for profit by a maze of corporations.
I think I’ll agree with the Times’ Headline and subhead on that story:
Hold the line on healthcare, Mr President
Only in the US is medicine solely run for profit