Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Health Care
Kash at The Angry Bear has done some serious research on health care. It is the go-to site if you want any data on actual health care costs, outcomes and rankings. This excerpt provides some conclusions and links to data to backup these conclusions:
Let me take this chance to put up links to some of the various posts that I've written on this issue:

* A single-payer system would yield enormous savings in administrative costs.

* Moving to a single-payer system would probably reduce overall healthcare costs in the US.

* Single-payer systems do not necessarily result in longer waiting times.

* Health outcomes under a single-payer system would probably be at least as good as they currently are in the US.
As I've said in this blog, my personal experiences sure support these conclusions. One chart in particular tells the tale, exploding the myth that health care in the U.S. is superior:

Dead last (or more accurately dead first) in the developed world. There is an equally damning chart on infant mortality/lifespans. Americans pay more yet don't live as long and are sicker in their later years.

I've written this before but I think it bears repeating. Back in the olden days, HMO care (akin to a single-payer plan) was most notably provided by Kaiser Permanente. Average people listened in sympathy to those individuals who had to endur the indignities of a health care "factory". Today, Kaiser is seen as cutting edge quality health care. It's cheaper, centralized and generally less hassle. I'm not sure Kaiser has gotten better as much as the rest of health care/insurance has become so miserable.

I agree with the point of Kash's post, echoing the sentiments of a number of bloggers that the time is right for Democrats to stand loud and proud for a single-payer health care system. Business is ready for it (witness GM, IBM), consumers are ready and voters are ready. The only hold up at this point are the insurance companies who continue to buy Congress and impede progress.