Thursday, February 28, 2008

The HMO Killed My Baby Today

Alternet has one of those really dumb stories on how the for-profit health care industry is literally killing us. I've blogged numerous times on the various problems with our health care system and have even suggested that a single payer system might actually be preferable to our current monstrosity. There are some reasonable arguments to made in favor of single payer care, but this is not one of them. Advocates of universal care need to get past the idea that the problem of patients being denied expensive treatments is one that would be simply solved with a single payer system.

It's as if some people on the left have no idea how money works. Whether it's the government or an HMO, any system of managed care will have someone making decisions about costs. And any time you have large bureaucracies making decisions regarding individuals you're going to have some people who get screwed in some way or another. There is no way a single payer system would ever function in a way that gives patient doctors the final say in expensive treatment regiments. Government can't work that way as the money to pay for these treatments has to come from somewhere. As I said, there's a lot of worthwhile debate going on about our health care system. This just isn't one of those debates.


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