Washington Post: Expanded Medicare Alternative Is A Radical Idea

July 10, 2007

Never mind that every other develop nation is already doing it in some form and delivering better health care results at half the cost of the twisted, broken American system, the Washington Post thinks that Obama’s and Edwards’ plans to open a Medicare-like healthcare option to all Americans is “radical.”

In his July 10 report on Democratic candidates’ health care proposals, Perry Bacon Jr. of the Washington Post writes, 

Edwards and Obama have embraced one potentially radical idea: Their plans each include an option for people to buy the kind of health coverage that is offered by Medicare for older Americans. If most Americans chose that option, it essentially would create a government-run health-care system.

I tend to think of “radical” as something hasn’t been proven in the real world. Yet every developed nation – with the exception of the United States – has proven that a government directed universal health care systems can and do deliver better care for much less that a “free market” American style system.

Hardly radical. I’d call it learning from others’ successes.

2 Responses to Washington Post: Expanded Medicare Alternative Is A Radical Idea

  1. July 12, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Having national health care a radical idea??? Lol England has it so does Canada that is why they all come here to the good ole USA to get there surgery done.

    In other words it doesn’t work. As for a radical idea how about doing away with Medicare etc. and return medicine to Physicians and Patients and Private Insurers. Wow, now that’s Radical!!!

    Of course when you add in an Obama and a dash of Edwards maybe a Pelosi of Kerry then you have the recipe of communism and unfreedom. It’s time to pack their liberal baggage and get someone that wants to run this country like a business that cares. Wow what a Radical idea!!!

  2. July 13, 2007 at 10:45 am


    I’d like to see some real numbers about people coming from Canada or the U.K. for surgery here. That tired, old scare tactic doesn’t jibe with the experience that my many friends in the U.K. report. And it contradicts World Health Org. surveys that show Euro patients rate their health systems higher than we rate ours on nearly every measure. Their health results are better on nearly every measure.

    My wife is British. We have family and friends in England and Scotland. They are horrified by the cost and inequities of the US system. Our 75 year old Scottish friend recently had triple bypass heart surgery. He is wealthy enough to afford private care or U.S. care, but he didn’t think twice about using British National Health. He got scheduled promptly and his surgery was flawless.

    I would consider the British and Canadian systems to be the weakest universal health examples. In the studies I’ve read, French and Swedish and other European systems are higher rated (way higher than the US). Yet the poorest people in Britain get better care than the 40 million uninsured Americans.

    And please show me examples of how a private bureaucracy like Blue Cross/Blue Shield is superior to a public bureaucracy. Medicare or the highly-regarded VA hospital system overhead is estimated at 2-4%, while private insurance overhead is estimated at 14-22%. Private insurers employ armies of gatekeepers, whose primary objective is to find reasons to deny claims. Americans are paying tens of billions extra so that we can be denied care. And walk into any private insurance headquarters, check out the plush furnishings and the check out the mind-boggling pay packages of the top 10 execs. They go compare that to your a VA or Medicare office and management compensation. Tell me who’s being more frugal with our health care dollars?

    Americans are finally waking up to the bogus scare tactics of the “health care industrial complex” (Krugman). We have good doctors and nurses and good hospitals (so do the Euros), but the delivery/cost/market mechanisms in our system are a complete failure. Every nation has health care system challenges, but all you have to do is take an open-minded look at their results to see that most Euros are better off under their universal care systems than we are under the American system.

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