The New York Times Considers What Will Happen If We Don’t Pass Health Care Reform

February 28, 2010 at 5:10 am | Posted in In the News, The Heath Care System | Leave a comment

United States Capital

I love my country, but fear for our democracy.

This article in the Sunday Times considers what will happen if health care reform doesn’t pass. “Grim” is an understatement. Already health care costs are breaking the bank for individuals, employers, and Federal and state budgets; if current trends continue, premiums are likely to double in the next 10 years, and wages will certainly not keep pace. So, yeah, put your elected officials’ feet to the fire.

I’ve long suspected that we’ll have to stop throwing money at increasingly expensive drugs, devices, and surgery. I’m suitably grateful for the pace of technological advancement in medicine, but it’s clear to me that we need to ration care. If we do, it will be a damn sight cheaper to pay for preventative care than to cover, say, organ transplants.

Which brings us to another point that seems obvious to me, but that commentators rarely mention: In the U.S., we kill ourselves with food. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, and young people seem to be leading the crowd. Video games, cable TV and the Internet have largely replaced my favorite childhood pastimes, which included scampering around the neighborhood pretending to be a horse, making horrid-smelling “perfumes” and “meals,” and jousting with sticks. I don’t advocate that children follow my example and fiddle with dead birds or use WD-40, Lysol and hairspray to create improvised flamethrowers. I’d probably show them how, though, if that would draw them away from shopping and gazing at screens.

Note to my parents: I’ve never set fire to anything. Never. Though I must say that I found Dad’s demonstration of how to use a magnifying glass to start a fire, um, compelling.

OK, I’ve wandered far off topic, and it’s time to pry myself from the screen.


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