Sunday, May 04, 2008

Health Care: Slow-Motion Katrina

John McCain says free enterprise will make it more efficient, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to tinker with it, but the evidence keeps mounting that American health care is a disaster that keeps overwhelming not only the uninsured but those who have "coverage."

Today the New York Times reports, "Many of the 158 million people covered by employer health insurance are struggling to meet medical expenses that are much higher than they used to be--often because of some combination of higher premiums, less extensive coverage, and bigger out-of-pocket deductibles and co-payments.

"With medical costs soaring, the coverage many people have may not adequately protect them from the financial shock of an emergency room visit or a major surgery. For some, even routine doctor visits might now take a back seat to basic expenses like food and gasoline."

Meanwhile, none of the presidential candidates is willing to acknowledge that the American health care system is broken by massive inefficiency, insurer greed and widespread fraud.

Even before they win the presidency and wider margins in the Senate and House, Democrat leaders are undermining the campaign promises of Obama and Clinton by making it clear that the next Congress won't follow through on even their watered-down proposals.

If voters want health care, they will have to hold their Congressional candidates' feet to the fire by letting them know that they are really hurting and not being treated right by the clients of the health care lobbyists who are blocking reform. Better yet, they should brush aside all the nonsense about "socialized medicine" and get a national conversation going about a single-payer system.

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