I’m gonna learn about health care. Plz help.

I’m gonna learn about health care. Plz help.

All this health-care talk is giving me a headache. A big one. Intelligent people whose opinions I respect are contradicting each other, sometimes angrily, over the ups and downs of reforming the health-care system (or not reforming it). And that’s not to mention the screaming and screeching going on at health-care town halls. I have a deep and justified fear that insane rumors and irrational emotion are creating the direction for actual legislation affecting 300 million people.

I feel the need for some health-care clipart.
I feel the need for some health-care clipart.

To make things worse, my whole life I’ve been a hopeless moderate, and a very poor debater. I’m often stopped in my tracks when someone makes what appears to be a good point, only to come up with a great counterexample days later. It’s annoying. Thus, my ability to contribute meaningfully to the whole discussion is kinda rusty.

Well, I’m not the most politically active person in the world, but I’m taking a stand here. I’ve been collecting a LOT of articles from various points of view. I’ve literally requested a day off work for this. I’m going to learn everything I possibly can about the health-care debate in the attempt to form a proper opinion.

Currently, I’m in favor of universal health care in a general sense. But I’m ready and willing to change my mind and be convinced otherwise.

Here’s my rules while researching:
— I’m not liberal or conservative; I’m factual. If something isn’t backed up by sound facts, it’s of very limited use to me.
— The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” Just because your family member was saved by universal health care, or your friend flew from Canada to the States for treatment, doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone.
— I will be active in seeking out opinions that go against mine. I’ve already visited that wingnut Sean Hannity’s website to see what he thinks about improving our health-care system. I’ll be visiting again.
— And I will check and double-check EVERYTHING.

If nobody reads this, that’s fine – until a few minutes ago I planned on this being a personal, private project. But if anyone has points of view to contribute, that’s excellent. Especially those who disagree with me. I wanna hear the most lucid, intelligent arguments I possibly can, and then find out if they’re right.

Health-care day is this coming Wednesday, September 9th. I look forward to learning a lot. I’ll document as much as I can in this space.

Sorry, I should add a joke here to improve readability. How do you keep an Aggie in suspense?

2 thoughts on “I’m gonna learn about health care. Plz help.

  1. Kevin:

    I posted the following on Chris G’s FB….

    Go, Kevin, go! Please help bound the health care debate. What’s the real issue we want to solve: Single-payer? Cost? Access to care? Outcome-based medical care? Insurance? Effectiveness of care? Death boards? Others?

    Please, someone pick just one or two of the problems so we can bound the “health care problem” and start coming up with …options that can be presented as solutions.

    Right now, “World Hunger” would be easier to solve than “Health Care Reform” just because we can better define the problem boundaries: Are you hungry? If yes, then give food. [OK, I’m trivializing the logistics/transportation issues, but it’s STILL easier than health care.]

    Good luck in your endeavor. I think the real problem is in DEFINING the problem. After that is done, we’re a great nation with really smart, thoughtful people who can come up with solutions. However, the debate is too noisy because there is too much misinformation, deceit, and malcontent among the shouters. Your thinking would not be wasted in finding the real problem to solve. All the data in the world won’t help solve the cacophony of the range of problems that is on the table. Too many problems to find succinct solutions.


  2. Excellent idea! I have two thoughts to pitch in:
    1) There’s universal coverage, and there’s universal care. Coverage usually mean coverage through insurance companies (or nonprofits, etc.), and care can mean single-payer, like the NHS in the UK. I think the tough thing is defining terms so we’re all talking about the same thing. (As Dave said.)
    2) I’d recommend Matthew Yglesias on this topic: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/

    Good luck. Tell us what you figure out.

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