Meanwhile, as you contemplate the health care debate, don’t miss the big picture: Fighting against universal health care is in the Republican DNA. Reagan led the charge; Republican governors — refusing to accept federal Medicaid expansion funds — carry it on to this day. We are the only first-world country on earth without universal health care. Maybe it’s not so radical to chart a path to get there. “Medicare for all who want it” — the public option — would be one such path, as more and more would likely come to choose it.
We should make medical school tuition free so graduating doctors don’t have to earn a fortune just to pay off their debt. (To pay for that, my personal favorite plan would be: double law school tuition! Just kidding. Mostly.)
And we should redirect much of the spending that now goes into bureaucracy and billing and collection and insurance overhead and profit into . . . yes . . . higher pay for the doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare. (There are about 1 million doctors in the U.S.; and half a million health insurance employees.*)
*Plus hospital billing departments . . . plus the staff whom individual medical practices devote to billing and collection.