Why not fix just the broken parts?


I’m at the spring meeting of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the next few days, so I won’t have time to pore through the legislative text, most likely, until I get back.  But I’m going to try and do some brief posts on some common questions we get.

Both conservatives and liberals alike often ask why we don’t just fix the broken parts of our healthcare system and preserve the parts that are working well.  The popular PNHP answer is that this would be like giving aspirin to a cancer patient (instead of chemotherapy).  I’ve also come up with an analogy to putting a bandaid on a patient with multiple trauma injuries.

But here’s another way to look at it.  We actually can agree with this– the improved, expanded Medicare for All plan is very conservative of our present system.  It removes, surgically, the “broken” part– private insurers– and preserves the privately run physician offices and hospitals!  Because the idea is so straightforward, there is no need for the multiple layers of regulation embedded in the current legislation or even in the system we had before this.  When people complain about our government not being able to “do anything right”, I have many examples to the contrary; but I do have to say government does better at distributing funds (what we’re asking it to do) than it does regulating the behavior of other entities.

Now, for those who think more in our healthcare system is broken than private insurers, you may be right also.  There is much that could be improved upon in terms of quality medical care, fair physician payment, physician distribution and supply, etc.  But there will always be things we can improve upon– that’s the nature of any human system.  And those other items can be addressed individually.  There is no reason they have to be attached to legislation dealing strictly with finance and access.  Which is part of why HR 676, the single payer bill, is so short and easy to read!

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1 Comment

Filed under Bad solutions for the uninsured

One response to “Why not fix just the broken parts?

  1. Wally Retan

    Believe I’ve read that a whole title of the present bill deals with tweaks to the Medicare law. And that the Medicare law has ben modified repeatedly since it was passed. Will be interesting to hear your comments when you get to that section.

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