Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. Billions in wealth redistribution. And one-sixth of the population of Southwest Virginia still lives in poverty.
We've been working at this, folks, for seventy years - 70 years - and this is where we are. This is our reality.
Knowing that, what do we do now?
To those who bought into all this way back when, those who know we can make it perfect if just keep trying longer and spend a few billion more, we do more of the same. We do the same and lots lots more.
Let's resolve to fix health careTake a moment and analyze that paragraph:
By Tommy Denton, The Roanoke Times
Gov. Tim Kaine didn't couch his recent budget amendments as new year's resolutions, but the provisions dedicated to improving health care in Virginia would serve as commendable resolutions that the General Assembly should enact under the current circumstances.
With 1 million Virginians -- nearly one of seven -- lacking health insurance and the rate of infant mortality -- two babies die each day -- among the worst in the nation, Kaine was right to urge dedication of greater public resources to serve those most in need of health assistance.
The problem is not merely with Medicare or its companion program for the poor, Medicaid. The problem is with the entire system, which not only has left some 45 million Americans without health insurance coverage but also compiled a record among the world's advanced industrial societies for having the most expensive system yet with regrettably poor health outcomes to show for the investment. (link)
● We have 45 million uninsured in this country ...
● ... and even without the participation of those 45 million Americans, we have the most expensive system on the planet ...
● ... and that system has produced "regrettably poor health outcomes."
Am I the only one thinking that maybe we need to go in a completely different direction, rather than advocate this "stay the course" mantra? That maybe there's a causal relationship in Denton's charges? That maybe it is all the government interference in "the system" that has made it so unwieldy and ineffective?
Keep pushing on that door, Tommy, keep trying to "fix" health care, and there'll be no health care.
Cartoon courtesy of The Far Side.