A tale of 2 insurance approaches

– Great article from the CBC in Canada about the U.S.’s new approach to health care and how it differs from Canada’s approach.    For me, the bottom line seems to be that the new U.S. health care approach is better than what the U.S. had before – but it is still a long way from what all the other advanced western nations have.

– The idealistic push by President Obama for real health care reform has run into the entrenched profit-centric corporations with financial skin in the game and the result is going to be a compromise that’s neither fish nor fowl.

– So far, it is better than what I feared and far worse than what I hoped for.

– And even saying this may be premature.  The long knives of the lobbyists and entrenched special interests will very likely come out in the murky adjustment processes as the Senate and the House work to meld their two version of the bill together.   These ninjas do their best work when the public’s not watching too closely.  And most of the public, at this point, think that the new face of health care is set.   But, cynics know that it is not.

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The U.S. Senate passed landmark health-care reform legislation on Dec. 24, a nearly $1-trillion bill pledging to extend coverage to an estimated 30 million Americans.

The bill still needs to go through the process of reconciliation, in which legislation passed in the House of Representatives is harmonized with the Senate’s bill. Negotiations could extend until at least February 2010. But U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the vote for bringing the country “toward the end of a nearly century-long struggle to reform America’s health-care system.”

Others say it ensured — for the most part — that the way health care is delivered in the United States would not change very much. What was approved by the Senate — and the House of Representatives before it — was not a march to Canadian-style “socialized medicine,” but rules that maintain the U.S. as the only industrialized nation in the world without universal health-care coverage.

The countries that make up the World Health Organization adopted a resolution in 2005 encouraging countries to develop health financing systems that would provide universal health care, which it defined as “securing access for all to appropriate promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services at an affordable cost.”


– Research thanks to Van!

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