Friday Animations: Why is health care reform so difficult

by Linda Beale

Friday Animations: Why is health care reform so difficult
crossposted with Ataxingmatter

If you think about it, health care surely is one of the basic human needs that we should try to ensure is met for every person, if at all possible. That’s the idea behind universal health care–that is, that the US should have a system that covers everyone, not just the wealthy. That no one should have to give up home or job to have health care. That no one should die from an easily treatable illness simply because they didn’t have enough money to pay a doctor. That our health system should work for the people, and not for corporate interests. That health insurers, if they are to be involved, should only be making a reasonable profit out of guaranteeing that the services we want are available–they should not be able to deny care, they should not be able to decide what kind of care is available, they should not be able to rip people off for exorbitant profits. Because they are providing a service that meets basic human needs, they are a quasi public utility and must be regulated as such, if they are to exist at all.

Other countries seem to have managed this much better than we have. Canada’s health care system costs about half what ours does yet provides better service. Same in Europe. We have missed the boat.

The health care reform act is just a first step in the right direction. It involved way too much payoff for the health insurers, and not enough reform. But it is a start. The new rules about pre-existing conditions are very important. The mandatory coverage is very important. Eventually maybe we’ll finally be able to enact a public option. And then, who knows, maybe we’ll finally enact a single-payer system that will provide to Americans the quality of health care, at the lower expense, that Europeans have enjoyed for decades.

So here’s today’s animation feature–a reminder that health care reform made some progress, but that we have a long way to go. What we don’t need, however, is gutting of the little progress we did make.