September 4, 2009

IT'S ALL JUST A MATTER OF WHAT YOU THINK THE PROBLEM IS...:

Let’s Get Fundamental (DAVID BROOKS, 9/04/09, NY Times)

If I were magically given an hour to help Barack Obama prepare for his health care speech next week, the first thing I’d do is ask him to read David Goldhill’s essay, “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” in the current issue of The Atlantic. That essay would lift Obama out of the distracting sideshows about this public plan or that cooperative option. It would remind him why he got into this issue in the first place.

Goldhill’s main message is that the American health care system is dysfunctional at the core. He vividly describes how the system hides information, muddies choices, encourages more treatment instead of better care, neglects cheap innovation, inflates costs and unintentionally increases suffering.


...we'd say the biggest one is that we in the West are profoundly healthy. Accept this most basic fact and the absurdity of everyone carrying insurance their whole lives is obvious, while all of the perversities follow. What's needed is a system where we all set aside money during our ridiculously lengthy healthy period in some instrument that: compounds that money; allows us to draw upon it for minor stuff; and has built up to considerable size for our period of illness and death. There's plenty of room for political brawling about the details.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2009 9:34 AM
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