Evensen's health-care article is weak | Buzz Blog

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evensen's health-care article is weak

Posted By on June 18, 2009, 4:39 PM

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Even Jay Evensen of the Deseret News Op-Ed crew is rethinking the health care debate... somewhat.

  “My thoughts? Health reform is much needed in this country. We spend more per capita for health care than any other industrialized country ($5,711 in 2003, for instance, compared to Sweden's $2,745),” Evensen said in an op-ed article, stating facts that advocates for universal health care have been citing for years. It seems right-wing commentators now use such facts as if they're brand new.

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But he seems a little confused as to whether he wants to commit the conservative faux pas of accepting a public option solution to the problem. He says “Public funding probably will be needed to pay for the coverage of people too poor to afford it,” but then goes on to say “I firmly believe, however, that a competing "public plan" would be disastrous. The government, with its vast resources, can't compete fairly with the private sector.”

First of all, how does Evensen think Medicare and Medicaid are funded? Public money, obviously. And he doesn't even put together that the reason countries like Sweden have such lower per capita health care cost is because of a comprehensive public plan.

But Evensen really errs by not mentioning that we already have public plans with Medicare and Medicaid, CHIP, and other programs. Covering all Americans, as he says should be done, makes public plans necessary. These programs work, but the red tape and limited pool coverage they have are not cost effective. The Commonwealth Fund, one of the most respected foundations in the country, has reported that a typical American family could save nearly $1,000 a year in health care costs with a comprehensive public health-insurance plan.

Evensen's thoughts on health care reform is that of a conservative walking on egg shells, struggling to deny the need for a public option while embracing public funding. Sorry Evensen, I know you have a free-capitalist image to live up to, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. Public funding necessitates a public plan.

Here is something to consider; In a poll in the University of Indiana last year, 60 percent of American doctors now support a tax system that provides for healthcare. In other words, they've learned that the only thing worse than government-ran health care is corporate-ran health care.

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