Friday, March 18, 2005

More on Single Payer

Still another relevant quote by way of Ed Parkhurst, this time from Philip A. Pizzo, M.D., Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine as taken from the Winter 2005 edition of the Stanford Medicine Magazine.

I concluded more than thirty years ago that this country would not have national health insurance in the foreseeable future. The reason was (and is) that public financing is a remedy for underfunding. The Medicare prescription bill, designed to help financially pressed seniors pay for their expensive drugs, is the latest example. But the general cost problem in health care means that the system as a whole is overfunded, a condition that public financing would only worsen.

Herewith the quote:

”It's hard to fathom why our nation, with its great financial and intellectual capital, has a health-care system that's so far from world class. Much of the trouble comes from the belief that health care must be run like a business - as if personal health were a commodity. This notion, promoted over the past two decades by our leaders in Washington, posits that the free market will restrain costs and bring high-quality care to all.

Obviously, this strategy has failed miserably.I do not believe that modifications around the edges of our health-care quagmire are going to do it. We need sweeping change. I personally favor a single-payer model incorporating support for medical training, innovation and discovery. But I'm not convinced that our political leaders can muster the will to overcome the obstacles from special interests with stakes in supporting the status quo.”

The full article can be found at:http://mednews.stanford.edu/stanmed/2005winter/letter.html

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