Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jindal on Health Care

I also watched Bobby Jindal's response to Obama's not-state-of-the-union speech last night. One thing, among all the pretty weird things in his speech stuck out to me:
To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage -- period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage. What we oppose is universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything, and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.
It's an obvious point that probably a million people have made by now, but the reality is that patients aren't making decisions about their health with just their doctors. It may not be a government bureaucrat that's making decisions about what kind of treatments you have (unless you're on Medicare or Medicaid) but it is an associate in an insurance office that's approving or denying a medical procedure.

The idea that a doctor and a patient are making sound decisions about your medical future is a nice one, but it's not very realistic. After all, few people can actually pay for the medical procedures they need out of pocket, so what they need is an insurance company or a public plan to pick up the rest of the cost.

Jindal's speech revealed a lot of the right-wing criticisms we're probably going to be hearing about health care reform in the next few months or years. Prepare yourself.

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