Sunday, April 9, 2017

Governance, secrets and health care

Regarding our intelligence services: Well, the good news is that the worker bees are still hard at work spreading honey. The storm clouds roiling political skies above WashDC rarely permeate far into the bowels of the hives. What gets done with all that honey can be another story. Obama made the apparently purposeful decision to allow NSA raw material to be disseminated around the town in raw, unevaluated, contextless, condition; and it's been the disaster those in the know knew it would be. This at least partially explains all the "leaks" of tidbits that were likely NSA sourced. Everybody now seems to have their own secret whisperer; it's the latest fad in government and in the media . . . and it all makes this country weaker on the world stage.
It's hard to tell what's truth, half-truth or fake news. Sometimes I wish the media would just stand down until actual decisions are made and reported (I'm willing to bet nothing will come of the investigation of Trump campaign contacts with Russians). This frenzy to publish every nuance, allegation, political ploy, and pure bovine excrement as if they are cast in bronze, does no good but to feed egos and drive politicians farther apart (and make good decisions impossible). (Over the years, the NYT alone has cost the taxpayers billions in reconstituting intelligence they compromised, and made us less safe. But, hey, gotta sell those newspapers.)
Add to these insider ingredients the incompetence of this administration, the three-ring circus that is the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party that is now emulating the Republican Party of the last 8 years (Chuck Schumer is unconsciously (I assume) channeling Mitch McConnell at every turn). The largely misunderstood, poorly explained, and far too draconian for a first try, AHCA, is a perfect example that will likely be followed for the next few months. The attempt to make sure health care doesn't bankrupt the government in a few years or decades may have seemed like a worthy endeavor to Ryan, but you don't take away what's already there (the 24M figure was based on faulty assumptions, but nevertheless, some people would have been forced to give up health insurance), and build a scheme that appears at first glance anyway to be not much more than a tax break for the rich. (All that really needs to be done is expand Medicaid and Medicare, and free insurance companies to sell attractive policies across state lines that include simply catastrophe coverage, and ala carte insurance policies (why should I pay for coverage for prenatal care). Or, aim for universal health coverage using Medicaid and Medicare and put the insurance companies out of business (I'll drink to that).)-pdf

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Health Care

   Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: The ultimate answer to health care in the U.S. is a single-payer system. The majority of our citizens’ poll in favor of the government running our health care.
   People believe that the single-payer will have the clout to drive the costs of care and medicine downwards while stifling exponential price increases. It could even happen if politicians in Washington DC gave up their campaign contributions from Big Pharma.
   It would even be relatively easy and avoid the infinite red tape of Obamacare (the ACA) and false access to health care promised by Trumpcare. 

Simply expand Medicare and Medicaid.

  It’s well worth remembering that Obamacare appears to be failing. Fewer choices, more expensive coverage, refusal to buy in by the young and the healthy, Medicaid heading for collapse. Something should be done. Government promises must be kept in some form.
  The healthcare needs of people change as they grow up and grow older. One size, or even three sizes, does not fit all. The forcing people into insurance programs expensive because they contain elements the insured doesn’t need or want, is an unwanted feature of the ACA. Coercing people into buying insurance or being fined is unAmerican. There must be a better way.
  Let’s change the discussion, such as it is so far. Health is too important to be part of political games. 

Take a look at Medicare and Medicaid in a bipartisan, open-minded, mode. The American people are unlikely to win this game otherwise.