Politics, philosophy, religion, and other things

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Possibility of Insurance

There is a great article by Ezra Klein in the American Prospect describing some of the models of successful health care systems used in other countries--making it clear that the real problem with American health care is political, not economic.

I've been without health insurance for almost my entire life. Except for four years in college, when I had to borrow money to pay for insurance, it's always been out of pocket on the rare occasions I've gone to the doctor. It is sad that with this background it still came as a shock that the U.S. doesn't have a particularly good health care system, let alone the "best in the world."

There is a weird sort of cognitive dissonance common to Young Republicans like I was--we acknowledged that there is a health care crisis, but then just sort of look at it in bemusement, as if it were an act of God--just an inevitable result of the expensive health care needs of modern society.

That is why it was encouraging to discover that it is actually possible to provide both good health service and universal coverage, but discouraging that structural elements of American society (i.e. the insurance companies, Big Pharma, etc.) seem able to prevent us from putting a rational system in place.

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