that isn't as stupid as the shrub's plan is all right with me. I've plugged Verla Insko's Health Care for All bill, and the National Health Insurance Act (HR 676), and cheered almost any reform idea that comes along, because any step in the right direction is a start.
In an opinion piece that came out today, Phil Mattera of the Corporate Research Project asks,
"Why are we keeping a hopeless, for-profit health insurance system alive?"
You can read and comment on his article here.
Mattera opines on what each of several political figures want to do about health care reform, but basically all he says about John Edwards is that Edwards wants to tax the upper class to help the uninsured. I think Mattera has overlooked the most important features of what John Edwards is proposing to do, and how it could lead to phasing out private insurance companies' involvement with health care. Edwards recognizes that it's just not politically viable for us to jump straight to National Health (a la the United Kingdom or Canada). At this point in time, the insurance lobby is just not going to let fully nationalized health care happen, and Edwards knows that. What he calls for is to have both at the same time;
consumers[I hate that word] people can individually choose between private health insurance or public health insurance, but everyone will be required to have one or the other. Because public health, like Medicare, will be more efficient, the insurance companies, in competition with public health, will have to streamline, tighten up, and (though Edwards doesn't say) accept more modest profits. Edwards sees this as a good way to transition, and his vision beyond is that eventually the people will vote on whether to keep a dual system or go fully to National Health. (It'll be a no-brainer.)
I like John Edwards' idea; it's savvy enough that it might actually get implemented in the near term. The insurance companies will still object, but not as vehemently as they would otherwise; they'll have time to get used to tightening their belts, and time to prepare their somewhat dignified but inglorious exit from health care.
John Edwards is the only Democratic presidential candidate with an RSS feed, and that should tell you something. Now if he will only tell me where he stands on corporate media conglomeration, and how we're going to get real issues and information out to the masses instead of truthiness and infotainment, I might just vote for him.
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