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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Matt Taibbi on the sad state of US health reform..

At least this is a fitting counterpoint to those US commentators who get up and say that in spite of its shortcomings the US has the best health care system in the world. Actually that might be close to the truth for those who are very well off. But the WHO ranked the US as 37th of 190 countries so Taibbi is perhaps being a bit harsh to say it is the worst though perhaps he is right about its being the dumbest! This is just a small part of the article from the Rolling Stone.



Watch Matt Taibbi break down his report on the sad state of health care reform in his blog, Taibblog.
Let's start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It's become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment — a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn't be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.
The system doesn't work for anyone. It cheats patients and leaves them to die, denies insurance to 47 million Americans, forces hospitals to spend billions haggling over claims, and systematically bleeds and harasses doctors with the specter of catastrophic litigation. Even as a mechanism for delivering bonuses to insurance-company fat cats, it's a miserable failure: Greedy insurance bosses who spent a generation denying preventive care to patients now see their profits sapped by millions of customers who enter the system only when they're sick with incurably expensive illnesses.
The cost of all of this to society, in illness and death and lost productivity and a soaring federal deficit and plain old anxiety and anger, is incalculable — and that's the good news. The bad news is our failed health care system won't get fixed, because it exists entirely within the confines of yet another failed system: the political entity known as the United States of America.
Just as we have a medical system that is not really designed to care for the sick, we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crises. What our government is good at is something else entirely: effecting the appearance of action, while leaving the actual reform behind in a diabolical labyrinth of ingenious legislative maneuvers.

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