Don McCanne writes the Quote of the Day over at PHNP, which one of the best quick reads on single-payer and its opponents. It is sent as a almost-daily email update if you are interested. This short video features Dr. McCanne talking about what is wrong with the Presidential Candidates' health care plans, and a Harvard business school professor talking about why she likes them (choice). Dr. McCanne's written comment is available after the break.
Comment: Anyone following the national dialogue on reform is certainly aware of the rhetoric over "choice." Those supporting reform that builds on private health plans use "choice" to mean choice of health plans. Those supporting a publicly financed and publicly administered national health program use "choice" to mean choice of physicians and hospitals and other health care professionals and institutions.
People do like to have choice. The three remaining presidential candidates understand that and tout the choice that their health care proposals offer. Of course, that is only the choice of health plans, a choice that usually takes away your freedom to choose your health care professionals. But they never mention this latter point since they would be admitting to a serious flaw in their proposals. Even libertarians should be concerned about loss of freedom to choose your own health care.
One irony here is that Regina Herzlinger, who has been referred to as the Godmother of consumer-driven health care and who is an outspoken opponent of single payer, states that she likes "all three platforms that the presidential candidates are offering." You would think that the Democratic candidates would support a progressive model of reform. Instead, they are supporting a neoliberal model based on the conservative framing of private market health plans.
When you fully understand Herzlinger's concepts of reform, you recognize what a disaster they would be for access, equity and affordability. You really must ask yourself why she likes the proposals of Senators Obama and Clinton. When you figure that out, speak up!