the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

obama reads his new yorker

In healthcare on June 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm

blogs are abuzz over the news that barack made his closest advisors read an excellent article by dr. atul gawande on the skyrocketing health care costs tied to the entrenched view of insurance companies that profits, not–you know–better patient health, should be a doctor’s paramount incentive. the president should add a previous gawande article to his advisors’ must-read list. it takes a slightly different, but equally pointed, argument–we can’t scrap the entire system, gawande says:

[b]ut we can build a new system on the old one. On the start date for our new health-care system—on, say, January 1, 2011—there need be no noticeable change for the vast majority of Americans who have dependable coverage and decent health care. But we can construct a kind of lifeboat alongside it for those who have been left out or dumped out.

here’s a suggestion: let the public option first insure all children. we already have SCHIP (= kiddie medicare), and this is a population that needs a safety net. (can we please stop making parents choose between bankruptcy and their child’s health?) if it works, great, you can then keep them in the system as they turn eighteen and extend the option to the greater population.

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