What “reform” legislation will achieve

This from single payer advocate Don McCanne whose quote of the day is a rich source of nuggets. He gave a talk in Orange County (California’s equivalent of Kansas)

Health Care Council of Orange CountyJune 11, 2009Annual MeetingKeynote: “Health Care Reform – What Has to Be Done”By Don McCanne, M.D.Opening questions directed to the audience:How many here believe that it is probable – not certain, but probable – that Congress will pass health care reform and President Obama will sign it this year?(Most individuals raised a hand)How many believe that the legislation will provide insurance coverage to everyone or almost everyone?(Not one hand went up)How many believe that the legislation will be effective in slowing the rate of health care cost increases?(Not one hand went up)

Sounds about right to me.

On a side note, I had a great talk with Hal Luft yesterday which will be on THCB next week. Hal had an interesting perspective on whether we should aim for 100% coverage or slightly less. Basically if we get to 100% of citizens covered, then it’ll be easy to cut the funding to safety-net providers who are looking after the homeless, the mentally ill, the destitute and many undocumented aliens (and lots of documented ones too). If we aim for say 98%, then we could justify keeping the safety net providers in a separate system and the 10 million or so (2–3%) of undocumented aliens in the country would at least have somewhere to go for their care.

Can’t say it’s my preferred solution, but it’s an interesting point.

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