I don’t remember where I said it, but I wish I hadn’t. In some thread on FtB about the republicans’ attempts to come up with a health program, I opined something like, “I wonder if their strategy is going to be putting up a few trial balloons and then shrugging ‘we tried’ and repealing obamacare without a replacement.”
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate will vote on a clean repeal of Obamacare without any replacement, after two Republican senators broke ranks to torpedo the current Senate healthcare bill. [guardian]
That was the plan all along, wasn’t it?
Some good news: that may not work. [the hill]
Over on backstory radio (one of my favorite podcasts) Brian Balogh runs through some of the crucial decision-points that brought about the American health care system the way it is, and how each one forced the next one, etc. It’s brilliant and fascinating and I encourage you to give it a listen. His piece starts at 17:00 [backstory]
Balogh’s theory is that all the key decisions that can be made about healthcare in its current form have been made in the last 70 years and all that remains is arguing vociferously about the placement of the deck chairs on the sinking ship. Once the US adopted an inadvertent approach based on corporate-provided insurance, or union-provided insurance, we had a divide between the insured and uninsured and it was part of their value-proposition.
Health care is difficult, but especially so when your country’s economy is predicated on spending $900 billion dollars a year on wars. I don’t believe that ratcheting that back and spending it on medicine would do anything more than make our medical system more expensive and bloated. So: burn it to the ground. I’d favor a government controlled medical system in which allowed services and fees are highly regulated. One of the problems we’ve got here is that unregulated capitalism will always pocket any excess profit (after all, that’s what they do!) – I’m quite sure that there are plenty of doctors and hospitals that the invisible hand of the market would provide, who would be comfortable working for a nice healthy profit. Note that under the current system they don’t see the profits, anyway, they’re captives, too. The people who’d get hurt are already rich as fuck and, screw them, frankly: they’ve already demonstrated that our lives mean nothing to them if they can make enough to buy another mansion by throwing us individually on the trash-heap. Martin Shkreli has become the poster-child for medical greed, but it’s Shkrelis all the way up.