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And the real reason health reform matters

And in case you’d forgotten what the health care reform battle is really about, here’s video from Reuters about an open air clinic for the uninsured in Virginia… 

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  1. Extending care to the uninsured is the overwhelming need of health care reform, as your post demonstrates. That the Virginia clinic is so little known highlights the invisibility of the problem. Volunteer efforts help some, but will always just be a drop in the bucket.

  2. Another point we aren’t hearing much about in the debate about health care is that in the US we pay more for health care than any other country in the world. The data is a little old, but in 1997 we spent $3,912 per person on health care expenditures (undoubtedly it would be at least double that today). In comparison, Germany was $2,364, Canada $2,175, France $2,047, Japan $1,760, U.K. $1,391, and Korea $870. Other countries on average spend about half what the US spends per capita on health care. And what do we get for spending twice as much per capita than anyone else? (This is from the Down to Earth blog by Mark Fergusson. To read the rest and other blogs on solutions to the health care crisis, go to http://blog.dtehawaii.com/)

  3. Most Americans are aware that what is good for the health care system as a whole often looks very different when it’s their own health at stake or the health of someone in their family. Do we Americans view health care as a communal resource that should benefit everyone or do we view it mainly from the standpoint of “what’s in it for me”? Do they view themselves as citizens working together for a “greater good,” or as patients and consumers of health care, worried about retaining access to all that medicine has to offer? The longer we delay, the higher health care costs rise, while more and more Americans lose their health insurance. In the meantime, you’ll continue to have a corporate bureaucrat between you and your doctor.

  4. Very interesting post and comments. I have written up many of these ideas on my site about health reform and I think anybody interest in this blog will find the information there very salient. Many of the ideas are things I am studying right now at The Wharton School as an MBA, although I combine thoughts as a practitioner in industry as well.
    Please do check it out!
    http://www.satvathealthcare.com
    All ad profits go to fight ulcerative colitis!
    Best,
    Amir

  5. All complex problems like high quality, affordable health care for all require us as a community to come together as one to solve this problem. Who among us believes that the current system is working for the most vulnerable parts of our society?
    The emotions, complexity and difficulty of the problem and can paralyze problem solving. Once we can visualize the problem we need more then experts to tell us what to do, we need to hear from all of the diverse views of all of the stakeholders involved before we can come up with a plan to bring about change.
    You then need to spend an inordinate amount of time communicating the plan before you implement it.
    Thanks for reminding us of the real problem we are attempting to solve – neighbors just like us who need our care and compassion and healthcare.

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