Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dishonesty on both sides

My favorite scientist, Neil de Grasse Tyson (astrophysicist), has said, "There's hot air at both ends of the political spectrum." The health care debate has showed this statement to be absolutely true. Major leftist myth: there are 50 million insured. This number is phony as there are many people who do not buy insurance who can afford it. Also, this number includes millions of noncitizens. So people who support national health insurance (myself included) should not use this dubious number when debating this issue.

The right, too, isn't being honest in this discussion. Frequently a conservative will compare the mortality rates or waiting lines of the U.S. to Britain or Canada. This is a weak argument for two reasons: 1. these countries spend far less than the U.S. on health care, so they have to ration care, and 2. there are many countries in Europe with government systems that do better than the U.S. and do not have waiting lists(e.g. France).

My solution: either a public-private mix like France or a plan this book proposes, where every American is given a voucher for private insurance equivalent to the plans federal employees already have.

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