Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gold-plated health care to every person

Via Pandagon, I came across this post on progressive health care by Kevin Drum, and in particular this quote:
As progressives, our goal shouldn’t be to provide gold-plated care to every person in the country, nor should it be to restrict the ability of the rich to get better service if they want to pay for it. Our goal should be to provide decent care to everyone, with the market free to operate on top of that.
I call bullshit.

Anybody with a commitment to upholding basic rights — those conditions that serve as prerequisites for any other activity — has to recognize health as one of those rights. Our goal, as "progressives" of whatever political stripe, should indeed be to provide gold-plated care to every person in the country. Our goal should not be to leave a market in premium services "free" (as if any market is free) to operate on top of "decent" care, because in medicine there ought not be a difference between decent and gold-plated. In medicine, there is only necessary. If a person has a medical condition, they ought to be entitled to have that condition treated through whatever means work to treat it. Period.

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