On the AFL/CIO's Blog is a very interesting piece about former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle who was a speaker on March 5 at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.
At $2 trillion per year, the United States has the most expensive health care system in the world (16% of our economy and rising), but the results it produces are poor when compared to other nations.
Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) claimed on Tuesday night that the United States has “the world’s best medical care,” Daschle said that what we actually have are “islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity,” with the highest-quality options for those who can afford it and inadequate or inconsistent service for millions more.Among the other topics Daschle addressed were the following:
Daschle critiqued the myths and outright lies spread by opponents of health care reform. Among them, that any change to the system would be “socialized medicine,” which Daschle says creates a false choice. Opponents also claim we “can’t afford” reform, even though the flaws in the system are raising costs.
- Reform would require "rationing." According to the former Senator, the differences in quality of care, access to care, and a pattern of claims denials under the current system already creates "the worst kind of rationing."
- The desperate need for true leadership on the issue, especially from the President's office. To illustrate, he referred to the recent Presidential veto of SCHIP by President Bush.
- The McCain approach, which he refers to as "cost shifting" without any real tangible gains.
SOURCE: "Daschle: America’s Health Care System in Critical Condition" 03/06/08
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