Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why Hillary Clinton's health care plan won't work

I was too young to remember the 1992 attempt to reform health care made by Hillary Clinton so I can't be a primary source on the matter. But, I have taken several classes on health care and done a ton of reading on why it failed.
Health care is NOT a partisan issue, we all want everyone to have health care, Most people that are Republicans do not like the idea of universal health care for two reasons:
1. Cost (the dirty T word)
2. Choice

Number 2 is a BIG number 2, this is the reason that Mrs. Clinton's 1992 policy failed, and this is the reason why her 2008 plan would also fail. It's like putting fresh kill in front of a lion, the Republicans will shoot down her proposal so fast it is not even funny. NOT FUNNY. NO NOT FUNNY. It's not funny because we really do have a serious problem, our health care costs per capita are so exorbitant that even if we mandated people to pay, they would not be able to! There is not a shot in hell that this proposal will get past Congress, and there will be such negative ad campaigns on our television airwaves that even the American public will be against it. American people are capitalists, they like CHOICE, conservatives (read: insurance companies) will conjour up images of day-long waiting lines, poor quality care, and all those other horrible things that apparently happen when you don't have choice in your health care insurance...

Hidden inside reason number 2 is the idea of accountability. If we are going to mandate health insurance, how are we going to enforce this? Will there be a penalty? If you don't enforce it, then what's the use, and if there's a penalty, doesn't that strike you as unfair? Penalizing the very people that need our support and fair policy the most? This particular point really urks me -any reasonable person who knows anything about health care policy knows that enforcement and accountability are BIG deals. Again, feeding the lions.

I would love love LOVE it if someday we have completely equitable, cost-effective health care in this country. If it could happen overnight, that would be like a dream come true. I think we can make some excellent strides towards a single-payer system (which, if planned right, would also be a dream come true), but you have to have evidence to prove it can work! Starting with an opt-in policy like Obama's is reasonable: we prove to the American people that the government as a single-payer is feasible, and through our ability to show results, we can draw more and more people towards this system. At a certain point, the large bargaining power will result in huge price drops for the American public, and like signal transduction, we'll recruit even more citizens to be a part of the single-payer system! This is reasonable, feasible, and thought out by none other then David Cutler, Professor at Harvard, Barack Obama's health care lead.

I would like to point out that the founders of Medicare and Medicaid, also think that this program is the most politically feasible and pragmatic way to reform health care. Their names are escaping me right now, but I can always look them up if you are interested.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Podcasts are still hot

And video podcasts on my iPhone are even hotter!

I have some favorites that I thought I'd share:

Medical Spanish, by Molly Martin
Dr. Martin gives clear, 10 minute podcasts that include vocabulary, a doctor-patient interaction, and English/Spanish translation practice. I LOVE IT!

WNYC's Radio Lab
Witty, entertaining, and educational, I can't get enough of these hour-long podcasts. I've learned about the opera The Ring, Archeology, Memory, really interesting, I'm always intrigued and want to know more after one of these!

Pilates Center of Bend Video Podcast
Short clips of different pilates techniques, it's great because I download them on my iPhone and do my pilates in the gym.

These are my favorites so far, now that I have video podcast capabilities, I'm going to do a lot more searching in iTunes U for some cool video classes. Let me know about your favorite podcasts!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Obama Generation

You know what I realized today? Since 1989, since I was 4 years old, there have only been two families in the White House.

No wonder my generation wants CHANGE.

I've been a solid supporter of Barack Obama since his opening speech to the DNC inspired so many, including myself. I will continue to support him and do what I can to help elect him to lead our country.

Props to Iowans for giving us a solid start.