Why Can't We Do Stuff Like This?

As perhaps you know, I am a True Believer in single payer national insurance. 

                                      (Me - True Believing)

A pal sent me a bunch of links to relevant articles after we discussed the topic. (He's anti to my pro.)

Here are just a few random excerpts. Not so much to argue for single payer but to highlight that the some countries - and some journalists! - go at health care problems in a way more low-key, fact-based, research-driven, logical (LFRL) way than our political shouting matches . Are we hard charging, pragmatic, problem solving Americans or not? Why can't be be more LFRL on something as important as healthcare?

Those darn Danes
                                                               One of my favorite Danes, Victor Borge

A big Danish study happens regularly that self-critiques their health care system.  Here is a single paragraph that caught my eye. Read it and imagine if you would ever see something like this in either the Democratic or Republican platform.

S W O T 
The Danish Health Care System: 
An Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

"It is easy to come up with proposals that will increase the benefit scope and levels of health services provided and hence increase expenditures. However, the whole point of the analysis is to identify areas worthy of attack because they threaten the sustainability of the health system as we know it, run counter to the objectives of the system, e.g. equity, or are glaring weaknesses. Rational decisions about improvements must be based not only on a helicopter view of the health care system via analysis, but improvements must be selected so that they have the biggest impact per monetary unit expended. Therefore, whenever possible and relevant it has been attempted to provide a very rough estimate of the cost‐benefit ratio of particular solutions." 

I mean that is SO LFRL!  The whole study is so objective, so constrained by facts, so earnestly working at finding practical solutions, than... well anything I've seen from our political leaders of either party lately. "Just the facts, Ma'am..."

Those Denver Journalists (Just a few short conclusions in the Denver Post about Denmark)

"The Danish health care system is not cheap. According to OECD’s Health Data 2009, Denmark’s health cost per person, public and private, was $3,512. But in the US the cost is more than double at $7,290!
In addition, Danish health care covers everybody – 100 percent of the population-while in the U.S. fewer than 80 percent of citizens are covered, and often only partially.
So basically the U.S. system costs more than twice as much and still leaves nearly a quarter of the population in the lurch if they need any medical care."

        That too is SO LFRL!  Just facts, no moralizing, breast beating or demonizing others.

Big Confession from your humble blogger, me.

I am of the opinion that our country is in the thrall of our current health/financial system solely (almost) due to the intense lobbying/contributing/PR-ing/, et al of those benefiting from one aspect or another of our system. That this can happen must go to some political/cultural aspects of the USA, because our system is quite unique in the world.
I smell another blog post on that subject coming.


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