A moral question, and way to proceed if answer is ‘yes’

Should that question somehow, miraculously, in spite of our shallow nature be answered in the affirmative then we will have to consider how to do it. To submit it to a political process has brought about a nightmare of misinformation, half-baked opinions, vengeful attacks — a depressing, draining miasma wherein the dominant focus seems to be fear: fear of cost, fear of lack of choice, and on and on. What we should be thinking about is what a marvelous thing it would be not to have to worry about healthcare any more! Worry about a million other potential disasters — if you are unlucky and have a health problem then at least you would have the best care we would be able to provide.

We can send a man to the moon but we can’t figure this out? This is not rocket science!  Take politics out of the equation. Select a panel of experts from all the necessary fields of knowledge, free them from political constraints and influence, and let them devise the best system. Provide the best healthcare we can, and all will benefit — all our citizens, our children, our children’s children, our economy, our moral standing, our future, our businesses. Even the rest of the world will benefit, as we will have more resources to deal with issues around the world.

It seems that the biggest issues are how much it will cost and who’s going to pay for it. If we can figure out how to pay trillions for a war in Iraq, and who knows how much in Afghanistan, we can certainly figure this out. Not to mention the cost we are already paying for not having a comprehensive, efficient or just health system!

I am no expert in this field, which seems to place me more or less in the company of most politicians, so I will voice three policy points: 1. Regulate malpractice law in order to reduce the cost of malpractice insurance. 2. Place a cap on administrative charges and expenses that can be levied by insurance companies. 3. Establish a government option, or at least define conditions that would trigger its establishment in order to promote and force greater competition and efficiency.

There is apparently much opposition to the last point, based on the premise that it would be unfairly advantageous to the government and lead to a government takeover of the health industry. The usual line is to accuse the government of being notoriously inefficient, which I agree is often the case.

With American ingenuity and effort the insurance companies should have no trouble out-performing and out-competing the government option, but I for one do not trust them to act other than in their venal self-interest unless forced to do otherwise.

From Howard Love

Arlington, Va.