The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pearlstein on Clinton's health care proposal

Steve Pearlstein of the Washington Post writes today that Hillary Clinton's new plan, announced this week, is the best among those of the Democratic candidates. Of all, the candidates, in fact; Pearlstein says about the Republicans,
The knee-jerk response from Republicans was to smear her proposal as "socialized medicine," a fresh reminder of how illiterate, out-of-touch and irrelevant the Republicans have become on the most important domestic issue to voters.
Hey, he said it, I didn't.

Pearlstein cautions that Clinton has a lot of political work and voter education to do to sell the crucial nuances and inevitable tradeoffs of her proposal. Where I would start is by stressing that rationing is not necessarily a bad word; it doesn't have to be about profits for the insurance industry (though under Clinton's plan that will likely be the reality, at least in part), and it could actually improve health care both for individuals (by limiting the use of unproven, potentially risky procedures) and certainly for the population as a whole (by allowing more equitable distribution of resources). I'd like to see more details on modernizing Medicare in this regard.

But how can we get Americans with good health coverage to see that they may not need everything that they're currently consuming?

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