My Message to Linda Sanchez and Zack Space on Healthcare
In general I do not regret helping even somewhat conservative Democrats get elected because they are always better than the Republicans they replace. But...sometimes I do get frustrated with what I see as a disconnect between the relatively progressive words they utter to get elected and the more conservative stands they take. Now is a time when I want to see those Democrats I helped elect deliver for America.
Right now America has a chance to FINALLY get real healthcare reform. I have blogged about how America's helthcare system is one of the most expensive in the world but only delivers mediocre outcomes, on par with places like Slovenia, Portugal, Albania, Bosnia, Kazakhstan...and even Cuba and North Korea. This takes into account a large number of measurable outcomes including probability of not reaching 60 years old, healthy life expectancy and respiratory disease child death rate. Our healthcare is both far more expensive and far less effective than the healthcare systems in Sweden, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. We are doing it wrong in BOTH in terms of excessively high costs AND excessively poor benefits. We need reform and we need to reform in ways that learns from those nations that do it much better and even cheaper: Sweden, UK, Canada and the Netherlands.
Right now in Congress we have the chance to start reforming our system in the right way, a way that will overall reduce costs an improve outcomes. This is the public option.
Linda Sanchez and Zack Space: I helped get you two elected with both my time and my money because I trusted both of you to make the right decisions most of the time. Look carefully at the numbers. America is doing it wrong when it comes to healthcare and you have the chance to reform that for the better. I ask you to support a strong Public Option for healthcare. This may be the single most important thing you can do for working and middle class Americans: reduce their healthcare costs and improve their healthcare outcomes. The numbers speak for themselves. Sweden, Netherlands, UK and Canada are consistently, across almost all measures of quality for healthcare, better off than America for less money per capita. I trust you, Conrgesswoman Sanchez and Congressman Space, to see that and to start moving us away from healthcare that costs too much but barely beats the healthcare in places like Slovenia, Cuba and Albania to one that learns from the best there is in the world.
Do me proud. Make me happy that I put the time and effort into your elections. In the case of Zack Space I did so more than once and long before anyone else supported you. Do me proud.