Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TIme to Call in the Lafayette Brigade!

It’s time for the Lafayette brigade, Mr President.

During our revolutionary war, only the French came to our aid – but it was decisive.  Now, if you were to ask them, the heads of all the European countries would testify before Congress how they deliver quality health care to all their citizens.

Of course, they don’t have our defense budget, but they do contribute to the wars we initiate. They also don’t spend as much money on health care as we do, and their health outcomes are superior to ours.

How is it that the OMB doesn’t factor in money spent by lobbyists when they calculate the cost of health care?

During the eighteen years I spent in France from 1981 to 1999, French unemployment was as high as ours is now.  Yet the French economy didn’t tank, and everyone had the same health coverage as when unemployment was lower.  Whether I lived in Paris or in the provinces, I chose my own doctors and hospitals, paying a small copay for visits and medications. With a chronic back problem, I got physical-therapy several times a week for years, as part of my coverage.

You don’t say it loud enough, or often enough, Mr President: the rest of the developed world looks down on us because haven’t progressed morally to the point where we believe health care is a right.

And finally, why should it be such a big deal to move health care from the workplace to the government?  You know health care is a burden for companies.  And why should you not be interested in putting the health care insurers out of business if you believe profits are not warranted when it comes to health care?  There are plenty of other things for them to ensure, and the employees would simply transfer from a private employer to a government employer.

The crucial thing you never say, Mr. President, is that Americans have go to stop seeing government as a necessary evil: why do we send our soldiers to fight in foreign countries to bring them a functioning government if we think government is so bad?

1 comment:

  1. I never once considered your point about lobbyists’ costs as a factor in health care costs. That’s brilliant.
    Your last point could be used by the President in another joint session address, or by David Letterman in his opening monologue. It’s that profound and that funny!