Monday, February 16, 2009

At long last is health care reform upon us?

Despite the fact that the stimulus does not do enough for Health care reform, some much needed reform is included. In particular the bill calls for changing health care records to electronic form by 2011, saving a great deal of money and time, as well as creating IT jobs.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a good account of what the stimulus includes with regard to health care reform.

The GOP and conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh are appalled by the health care provisions in the stimulus. They claim that the democrats are using the stimulus to introduce federal government control of health care -- which they see as a great horror.

What these objectors are so worried about is the creation of a 15 person government committee that will oversee and evaluate data on what treatments are effective or not. The N. Y. Times has a piece explaining this committee, and it appears that the opponents of this committee are making much ado about nothing.

However, the state of Minnesota has passed a bill that will create a single-payer system in the state. I reported on this for Huliq News the other day.

Single-payer health care is greatly feared by many in the united states. They fear it will be inefficient and will give the federal government far too much power over our autonomy and health. But it has been forcefully defended by many, including Noble Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. And Single payer systems are hailed as quite successful in countries like France, England and Canada.

It may well be that health care reform is finally here. Let us hope that it is. Our system as it stands is broken. Health care is the leading cause of bankruptcy in our country, we spend 16% of our GDP on health care costs, and still 47 million Americans remain uninsured.

I hope that the provisions included in the stimulus and the bill in Minnesota are the beginning of much needed and long overdue real reform!

1 comment:

  1. I think we are definitely moving the right direction. I think reformers are starting to understand the mantra "Never waste a recession." This is the opportunity when people are going to be most open to changes in health care and in all parts of society.


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