July 16th, 2009


Half an Apple

There is progress on the health care reform front, but I'm not sure if it's good progress:

House Democrats Unveil Landmark Health Care Legislation
Carolyn Lochhead, The San Francisco Chronicle: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats opened an all-fronts charge today to pass a $1.5 trillion, 10-year health care overhaul by August, unveiling legislation that would tax the wealthy to pay for universal coverage, create a public insurance plan and require individuals to carry insurance and businesses to offer it."

We need health care reform. We need it badly. We don't need BAD health care reform. I think that as soon as the idea of "tax the wealthy" comes up, many powerful people will balk. Also, there are better ways to fund this project; if it's going in a tax-the-wealthy direction, those other ways probably aren't happening. I'm in favor of a public option. I'm not in favor of forcing people to carry insurance. That would be a massive windfall to an industry that has all but destroyed health care; it would force people to financially support an industry they may justifiably despise and wish to go bankrupt; and it could add one more bill to the pile of bills that some people can't afford to pay. Theoretically there will be subsidies, but I'm dubious about the government's ability to discern what peopel can "really" afford.

I see this going the way of the chrome-plated tightly-clumped orgy that the climate change bill turned into. I am disgusted.

Latin American resources online

Today I came across some interesting resources ...

The Temas Blog discusses "Musings about the Evolution of Consumer, Environmental & Health Policy in Latin America & the Caribbean." Much of the content is in English but there is some Spanish also.

BlogBlogs is a blog directory/network in Spanish. It offers a tracking widget you can put on your blog, which is how I found it.

DIHITT looks like a networking/news service, also in Spanish. It includes a friends tracker widget for blogs, which is how I found it.

Sauce for the Gander

I was quite pleased by this proposal from a Republican, and disgusted that the Democrats didn't support it:

A Prescription for the Goose…
Senator Tom Coburn is a physician who until recently still went home to Oklahoma to deliver babies. He believes Congress should weigh the dangers of a nationalized health system much more seriously than it has. In the tradition of someone using a 2x4 to win the attention of a mule, yesterday he successfully pressed the Senate Health Committee to approve his idea of requiring Members of Congress themselves to enroll in whatever "public plan" is passed to compete with private insurance companies.

I have long thought that if politicians had to face the same terrible insurance challenges as ordinary people, we might have a working health care system by now. I'm sure they'll kill this provision, but while it lasts, maybe it will get them thinking in a positive direction.