Thursday, April 30, 2009

What does health-care reform mean?

How the U.K. sold universal health care
Via What is Health Care Insurance?

Over the past few days, I've been discussing health reform on Twitter with various advocates. It's hard to actually discuss anything in 140 characters, but I've been trying to understand the positions of the various factions, and Twitter does give you access you might not get otherwise.

I'm particularly mystified by the antipathy between single-payer advocates and Health Care for America Now. The latter supports a public option, but doesn't believe a single-payer plan can pass. I haven't personally seen anywhere HCAN has said single-payer should be off the table, but clearly many single-payer advocates believe they've said so. I think HCAN's position is second-best by a long shot, but I see them — however half-hearted — as an ally in the reform fight. I hope they're not standing in the way of single-payer, but I confess I don't know.

I really find all the rhetoric flying around confusing — and I'm somebody with a strong interest in the subject. I can't imagine what people who haven't been paying much attention to the topic think. Therefore, I find the video above, made to promote the United Kingdom's National Health Service Act in the 1940s, fascinating.

I remain with the same question posed on Twitter by @Fortitude1913 during Pres. Obama's "100 Days" press conference yesterday:
"I still really want to know what 'health care reform' means. Will it mean that I as a self-employed/unemployed person can get some?"


  1. All of this is definitely confusing for many who are not involved in the business - insurance, health care or government. You really have to follow the money.

    I followed the comment from Twitter here and noticed your question about Mr. Obama's meaning of Health Care reform. You may wish to read today's Wall Street Journal column regarding Mr. Obama This may add some context to understanding or misunderstanding where he is on it.

    I will continue to follow your comments. I am sorry to hear of your situation and do hope that things turn around. Certainly, I am happy to help with insurance issues, but know that you are not favorably predisposed to insurance. Best of luck.

  2. I like the British ad. Thanks for posting that.

    My experience with HCAN was such that it seems to me they have no tolerance for single payer support. I went to one of their meetings on invitation and was impressed, so I wrote a postitive blog post. Further research caused me to question some of their strategies and answers and I wrote a blog that partially agreed and partially disagreed with them and I got called out by them. I responded cordially and got further called out. Then, I offered to let them disagree with me and I'd post it. I was blown off. I went to their rally in Chicago and was left with the distinct impression that it was their way or the highway. From what I've read on the blogs, it looks like I'm not the only person who got that impression. Now, it looks like they're meeting with PDA that advocates for single payer and that's a good thing. I just hope that they take a different approach with PDA than the one they took with me.


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