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Ok, we've flirted with it several times in other threads recently, so I thought I'd drag it out on its own again.
Universal Health Care. Socialized Medicine. National Health Coverage. Single Payer. What do you call it?
I call it inevitable.
Why? Well, it's the best of all evils at this point. Our current system is all fucked up and doesn't help anything. Health care is such an emotional issue that it simply can't support itself on cold-hearted economic theory that would tell us to go back to a pure competitive fee-for-service model.
Poor people want it. Businesses want it. Democrats want it. Even moderate Republicans have made several steps in that direction. Hell, I bet history will show that the major move towards Universal Health Care began with Bush's prescription plan. It was the biggest entitlement bill in history.
The big players have laid out their plans. I think this will be THE issue of the '08 election. Obama and Hillary are big on buzzwords and on "what this means to the average schmuck like you." Edwards is more detailed on how he's actually going to implement and pay for it, but scant on how it will affect people.
So what do you think? Is it really inevitable? Will this help businesses that are burdened by health care costs? Will it strengthen the safety net? Will it damage health care overall? Will there still be incentive for us to develop new medical technology? Is it Socialism? Are we doomed?
How should it be implemented? Do you prefer the current system, but just subsidize insurance companies and hospitals? A single payer system where everyone bills the government? The so-called "Schwarzenegger/Massachussetts" plan that involves a legal requirement to purchase health insurance, like with cars? Total government takeover of health care altogether?
As the thread suggests, I'm specifically talking about what's coming here in the U.S. But I also recognize this exists already in various forms throughout the modern world, with various successes and failures. Please comment as you see fit.