Universal Health Care

I agree that we should have universal health care as opposed to the patchwork system we have now.  But here are the three huge issues that I think are being ignored in the current proposals.

1.  We need to come up with a rational, fair system to compensate victims of poor health care.  The current legal system is horribly ineffecient, results in massive amounts of defensive medicine being practiced at a huge cost and does not get the money quickly to the victims.  A simple no-fault system funded by the medical profession iin lieu of malpractice insurance could be used to quickly compensate victims.  A panel of experts could hear cases and provide compensaton based upon established guidelines.

2.  We have to realize that there will have to be some rationing of care.  It is impossible to do everything for everybody.  I don't know what the exact statistics are, but a huge portion of healthcare spending occurs over the last six months of everyone's life.  I know this is hugely controversial, but we have to make rational decisions.  With a finite pool of dollars, we ought to focus on those people who can derive the greatest benefit from the care.

3.  This is an enormously complicated and divisive topic.  By trying to rush something through in a matter of months we are going to end up with a bad new law.  I'd appoint a panel of experts to study this over the next six months and have them propose a new bill next spring, which can be debated over the next six months.  This is too important a matter to be handled in the current way.

cabman49 cabman49 56-60, M 3 Responses Sep 25, 2009

Your Response


1. Tort reform has, indeed, become a controversial topic. Unfortunately, the general public views it as a special interest of the medical community. Do people not realize that we all pay for frivolous lawsuits? I have been in a position to observe as people abuse the legal system, and it nauseates me.

2.. I understand your point, and I don't think it is "cold" at all. I would argue for some quality of life & pain management, but seriously: Whose needs are we meeting when we keep trying to fix a terminally ill person?

3. While I support healthcare reform, I agree that it is moving too quickly. The matter is a complicated one, and I think we should let clearer heads prevail: Let it simmer, give it some rational thought, and make balanced decisions.

It seems that we should be able to come up with a solution. Anything we do is better than nothing, and, anything we do won't be perfect. I agree with you about the rationing of health care. That word and idea is so repulsive to people that they lose all rationality. Rationing of health care goes on every day here, in the form of denial of health care for any reason, whether it's a rejection from an insurance company refusing to pay for a procedure or a person without insurance that can't even make an appointment to see the doctor they need to see. No system is perfect, but the fact that we are the ONLY western nation left that has no universal health care system in place is shameful.

I agree that this is a hugely controversial subject right now in the US. I am English and was raised with the cushion of the National Health Service in the UK. It is not perfect of course and is probably not the model to use for the US in terms of size of the population at the very least.

I am not familiar with all the details of the current system in the US, nor the system proposed by the Obama government, but it seems to me that some form of guaranteed healthcare for the poorest members of society has to be a priority for a civilised country.