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So if it's a cost problem, it's easy: Get the people in a room who have the most and the most direct impact on cost, and do the deal. Do the deal. It's not that complicated. If it's an access question, people don't have access to health care, then figure out who they are, and give them access! Hello?! Am I missing something here?
--RNC Chairman Michael Steele, guest hosting Bill Bennett's radio show, explaining the simplicity of health care reform, as published on Taegen Goddard's Political Wire today.
Ben left a comment echoing something an old high school friend and I used to say, no doubt inspired by Monty Python: "World hunger... OK. The solution? Just give 'em more food! Next problem?"
Following my thread of the evils of socialism or at least socialized medicine, I wholeheartedly agree with what another guy (a doctor) said in a comment on the same post:
What I think should be mandatory is access for everyone for "basic" services. Don't ask for mega-specifics, but I would include things like health maintenance exams (cholesterol checks, blood pressure checks, mammograms for women/prostate exams for men, routine vaccinations, etc.). There should also be complete coverage for pregnancy, since we as a nation perform dismally in this arena, ranking somewhere around #43 in the world for positive outcomes following pregnancy. A lot of this could be avoided (not all, but a lot) if women could go to the doctor, get their checkups, their prenatal vitamins, their ultrasounds without having to deal with insurance for everything... And of course, emergency care should be completely covered as well. I think that should be the bare minimum of a universal insurance-type program. And by insurance, I mean guaranteeing payment, not filling out forms to get reimbursed. This should just be part of the package of being born or sworn in as an American citizen. The rest of it (cosmetic surgery, a more invasive procedure that may or may not be better than tried-and-true ones, a newer [and by definition more expensive] drug compared with an older one) should be available (free market, anyone?) with the people who can afford it getting it. But the bare minimum being provided over a generation or so will go a LONG way towards reducing the healthcare costs in this country as people don't have to have amputations and dialysis for uncontrolled diabetes, long-term care after a stroke caused by out-of-control high blood pressure, and numerous hospitalizations for people who never get well, but who merely get better enough to go home, until they're back again.