Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Health care shennenigans

Last night, McCain once again claimed that Obama's health care plan would require mandates, in the tried and true tradition of right-wingers demagoguing "socialized medicine".

Let's go right to the source.

The Obama-Biden plan provides affordable, accessible health care for all Americans, builds on the existing health care system, and uses existing providers, doctors and plans to implement the plan. Under the Obama-Biden plan, patients will be able to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of being blocked by insurance company bureaucrats.

Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year.

If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.

Clear enough for everyone?

The major thrust of this is to say that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or risk factors. The plan will also include tax credits, measures to increase competition in the industry, measures to decrease the cost of prescription drugs, expansions of SCHIP and Medicaid, and make the public insurance available to members of Congress also available to its financiers, the public.

It's a good plan, but as far as I'm concerned, the entire HMO system should be scrapped. There is no reason that what works so well in the rest of the industrialized world cannot work in the US. None at all.

The only thing holding it back is this utterly dishonest and self-interested misrepresentation of universal health care by right-wing politicians. And the Democrats, helpless against such an entrenched meme, can only offer half-way solutions that will treat the symptoms, but not the disease.

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