Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Drumbeat For A Public Option

The truth is that government, for all its flaws, manages to do some things right, so that today few people doubt the wisdom of public police or firefighters. And the government has a particularly good record in medical care.


A study by the Rand Corporation concluded that compared with a national sample, Americans treated in veterans hospitals "received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up." The difference was particularly large in preventive medicine: veterans were nearly 50 percent more likely to receive recommended care than Americans as a whole.

"If other health care providers followed the V.A.'s lead, it would be a major step toward improving the quality of care across the U.S. health care system," Rand reported.

That's the Rand Corporation, folks. Not SEIU. Not ACORN. Not the DNC. The Rand Corporation, an objective, non-profit think tank. Formed by the US DoD, I might add.
Government is designed to do the Big Things: national highway system, defense, interstate commerce, natural resource protection, coastal protection, creating a national energy policy, installing the national electric grid, dams, coordinated air traffic control.
Healthcare should not only be among those, it should be at the top of the list. And while, at this point, any healthcare reform, even if it's just reforming the insurance we pay for privately, is welcome, there is absolutely no reason, none whatsoever, that single payer coverage should not be the law of the land.
Period. Forget the "public option," it should be a "private option" if you don't want to be on the National Health Service.
I urge President Obama in his speech tonight to raise the issue and to defend and deflate the inevitable ignorant attacks from the fear-mongerers of the right, funded largely by insurers and the AMA, nipping this dissent in the bud. He should produce and present a cogent and organized outline of a public health plan that would help us prevent disease rather than treat it, provide for mental health treatment (the average mortality rate of people diagnosed with mental health issues is 25 years shorter than those undiagnosed), and give Americans the promise of the Declaration of Independence: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".