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America’s self-renewal? « Previous | |Next »
January 20, 2009

Josh Marshall from the innovative and ever broadening Talking Points Memo decribes the current public mood in the US:

Though the phrase is endlessly overused, tomorrow is genuinely a new day in American politics. A new Democratic president, expanded Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate no longer encumbered by its earlier dependency on incumbency and legacy of solid South. And all of this beginning in a climate of genuine national crisis. We want to understand it. And we believe we are uniquely placed to chronicle the story.

A new day for health care in America as well? Will Americans get a better health care system? A basic health-care system for everyone---Medicare-for-All rather than just strengthening the private insurance market? Along with addressing the rocketing unemployment, exploding deficits, failing cities and improving social security?

Kalobama.jpg Kal

Huge amounts of public money is being spent in bailing out Wall Street. So what about Main Street? What help do they get in the economic bad times? They lose their jobs and houses. They get sick. They desire good education for their kids. So where is the new deal for Main Street?

No doubt the Republicans will block any reform of health care system along the lines of Medicare for all, even though they are nationalizing the banks. Not to is their battle cry.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:08 AM | | Comments (1)



The most important point that Gawande makes in the New Yorker article that you linked to is that, despite much of the debate over health system policy being ideologically based, especially in the US but also in Australia (government socialism and waste vs private enterprise enterprise and efficiency and all that stuff), the way that the existing health care systems actually evolved in the US, the UK, France and Switzerland had little or nothing to do with an ideological agenda. They are different in each nation because the circumstances that seeded them differed in each.

The WHO report referred to by Gawande that ranked the French health care system as best in the world and the US at number 37 is at$file/WHO-health-jun00.pdf?openelement (the ranking table starts on page 152).

Interestingly, in light of Michael Moore's movie, Sicko, Cuba was ranked two places below the US, at 39. (Australia is at 32.)

Two factors that told especially against the US system were its lack of universal coverage and its extraordinarily high cost.