Saturday, April 26, 2008

Frontline: Sick Around the World

Frontline had a very good show last week, Sick Around the World, made by my friend Jon Palfreman (who's also now in Oregon). It's about five different health systems around the world (Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland). All cover all of their citizens at substantially lower costs than does the United States. Best of all, the show disproves many of the myths about universal health care that foes cite here as scare tactics, while being objective about their strengths and their weaknesses.

Fortunately, you can watch the show online. (Have you noticed that you can watch pretty much anything online these days? I gave up my TV 9 months ago and don't feel like I've missed a thing, except lazy nights slumbering on the couch watching whatever trash was beamed at me. Now I just watch what I want and do a lot more reading in the evenings. Plus, every time Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Back says something outrageous, you can be happy that at least you're not paying them for it.)

Anyway, I still do not think the US will ever have a universal health care system. Americans insurers, the medical industry, and the pharmaceutical companies won't allow it, and increasingly business pulls the strings in this country. Even Hillary Clinton's health care plan has a place for insurers, despite ample evidence that health care does not work in a traditional free market system. No way are these companies going to accept being even heavily regulated.

1 comment:

MT said...

Jon Palfreman is da man. I envy you your friendship. His 1997 Frontline program and the related Web materials on nuclear power in particular are an amazing resource.