Radical Health Care Reform

Apr 11, 2007

Over at Talking Points Memo, there's a great "book club" discussion this week of Jonathan Cohn's new book, Sick:The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis--And the People Who Pay the Price.

Financial journalist Maggie Mahar writes: "The reviews suggest that "Sick" is going to help legitimize discussions of radical national health reform. “Single-payerâ€? is no longer a
dirty word."

As independent workers, do we support single payer health care over hybrid reforms that preserve some form of private insurance? I can't speak for the Freelancers Union position on this.

But speaking for myself, I think as long as insurance is linked to traditional employment, there is an opportunity cost for people to strike out on their own--and we preserve a relic of a benefits system that doesn't fit the way people are increasingly working.

What do you think?

It's interesting (or annoying, depending on your tolerance for this navel-gazing stuff) how the health care debate tends to spiral into a meta-debate about how progressives frame policy decisions. Do you go for the big dream, the New New Deal, the disruptive change, or for the achievable and "electable"?

Robin Podolsky, who has one of the best entries here, is actually in the trenches, on the staff of a California state senator who is the author of SB 840, California’s pending single payer legislation. She gets to the point about independent workers when she writes, "If we were all insured, all healthcare providers would be competing for our business. And we would have more personal freedom to make decisions about whether to start businesses, go to school, get pregnant or change neighborhoods, because our insurance would follow us."

She also writes, wryly, "While we don’t want to make the perfect the enemy of the good, neither do we want the incremental to be the strangling death of the remedial."