[ExI] Who are the people? Who suffers?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Jul 18 12:03:57 UTC 2009

2009/7/18 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
>> ...On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou
>> ...
>> I recommend that the US introduce a single payer health
>> insurer covering everyone... Stathis Papaioannou
> Stathis, I don't know how much of the current debate is making it into the
> European press.

The Australian press, in my case. Not very much.

> The notion of a major overhaul of the US medical system was
> sunk yesterday by a report by the Congressional Budget Office, which claims
> that total health care costs under Obamacare will not go down, but would go
> up.
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071602
> 242.html
> So.  No farewell cruel working world for the old spikester.
> It is easy to tell that there was a major shift in attitude.  The congress
> was pushing madly for a vote on this before the recess in August, if not
> sooner, hurry hurry urgent, danger Will Robinson, etc.  But with this Budget
> Office report, the American democrat party splintered into factions.  Some
> are now arguing that a good plan will take time (imagine that, the
> scoundrels!)  But if they allow time, the congress members will have a
> chance to actually read the bill, and will vote against it.  The stealth and
> speed aspect of the surprise attack are lost.
> What happens now can be seen as clearly as if it has already happened.  The
> health bill falters, a very much weakened version of it eventually passes
> which contains the words "health system reform" but doesn't actually do
> anything (single payer?  Ja.  You.)  The tax and trade CO2 bill which passed
> recently in the house will be voted down by the senate, the current
> government's approval rating goes into freefall, little significant economic
> recovery for some time to come.
> OK here are some very specific prognostications.  Save it in your prophecy
> file, grade me on it in a couple years.  I will still be here.

You're probably right, but here is the puzzle: most other developed
countries get universal public health care, and these universal
systems cost their taxpayers less than the US non-universal public
health care system cost. It can't be that everything's more expensive
in America, because it isn't; but healthcare, public and private, is.
Moreover, there are those studies showing that the US ranks lower than
most other other OECD countries in health care quality. For example,
the following paper goes into much greater detail than simply
measuring life expectancy and child mortality:


This requires an explanation.

Stathis Papaioannou

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