Thursday, October 14, 2010

Once More, Away From The Breech

The Seattle Times reports that up to 500,000 Washingtonians may lose prescription drug benefits due to Medicare cuts. Reader comments blame Obama and the Democrats, as if Medicare were a cherished Republican program.

But this story reflects the structural problems of the American health care "system" and of a political culture bolstered by voters who want services without taking the trouble to pay for them. America's health care system, which evolved (or devolved, depending on your perspective) without policy guidance, is widest open to those who need it least and closed to those who need it most. The Medicare story reflects an ongoing reality.


Other nations facing cost cuts spread the pain appropriately; we shift the cuts down to the people who can least afford them. This has zero to do with Obama or Bush and there's little that anyone left or right can do to about it in the absence of a concerted grass roots movement to change the way this country finances and delivers health care. Given the polarization here, such a movement is about as likely as Sarah Palin writing an honors thesis on Russian history. Once again we have met the enemy and he is us...

6 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Unfortunately, you are so right on! I don't even like to think how things will be even in five years from now. Enjoy your day and have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Roy said...

Unfortunately, you're so right.

Darlene said...

Will this country ever come to it's senses and have a single payer health care system that would eliminate many of the problems and save money doing so?

I'll never see it.

K. said...

Darlene, I see no way for that to happen barring a total collapse of what we have. There are too many powerful entrenched interests, plus people who would benefit from a single payer would oppose it as big government socialism and because they'd interpret it as their tax money going to undeserving minorities. Heck, they believe that about the current law.

I'm cynical on this point, but the plain truth is that conservative whites will oppose HCR of any kind until the day comes that they believe they are being harmed by the ramshackle Rube Goldberg machine that some mistakenly call a system. Even then they'll figure out some way to blame minorities for their troubles.

injaynesworld said...

Yep. We're screwed.

Promise not to tell? I have wet dreams about Bernie Sanders becoming president.

T. Clear said...

When I read this in the paper this morning I wanted to cry. What in the hell is wrong with this country?