Health care reform – the basics

After immersing myself in the Democratic candidates’ speechifying, policy papers, interview transcripts, and others’ opinions about same, here’s my take on what health care reform should do.
We’ll get to where each candidate stands on each “requirement” tomorrow. Much as I’d like to include the GOP guys, to date there’s been precious little on health care from anyone on that side of the aisle.

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The case for single payer

Here is the case for single payer. Not saying that I agree with it, but here it is. Before you roll your eyes and click on “delete”, take a minute to consider the perspective of the single payer advocate.
I’m sitting in the only formal session of Take Back America dedicated to health care. The moderator, Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America’s Future, noted that the number one or two issue in most polls concerning election issues is health care. This being a policy conference, and health care being a key policy issue, one would think that there would be more than one session on health care, and that the panelists would include luminaries such as Paul Ginsburg of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Uwe Reinhardt, Karen Davis of the Kaiser Family Foundation, or Bob Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.
That’s not the case. Even more puzzling, none of the panelists or attendees asked the key question – can Medicare control cost? I address that central question at the end of this post.

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Edwards on health care

I don’t envy any pol who has to speak after Barack Obama, even if you are as accomplished a speaker as John Edwards. Despite the difficulty, Edwards acquitted himself admirably.
Now onto the topic we’re all focused on; where Edwards is on health care.

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Obama on health care

Think Bob Seger at a UAW picnic. Don Ho at a luau. Lawrence Welk at a retirement home. Toby Keith at Daytona.
Sen. Barack Obama’s just finished his speech at Take Back America, and it had all the excitement, electricity, and fervor, minus the ‘tiny bubbles‘. But never fear, your trusty correspondent didn’t get swept up in the hysteria, and maintained focus on the important question – does his health care reform platform make any sense?

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Bill Richardson on health care

Today’s agenda at Take Back America includes speeches from Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Barack Obama, and John Edwards. I’ll post on each separately.
Richardson led off with a speech to attendees focusing on Iraq and global warming/energy conservation; nary a mention of health care, but health is not exactly a “red meat” topic, one that gets the crowd roaring. The after-speech press conference wasn’t much different – not a single question on or reference to health care.

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