Re: “Modern medicine has made the private insurance model problematic” (TNT, 4-12).
Caroline Poplin’s op-ed ought to be required reading for everyone. She explains both how insurance works and how medical care has been transformed in the past 50 years, including the fact that diseases that were once acute and fatal have become chronic, hence much more expensive to treat.
She demonstrates that private insurance and modern medicine are incompatible, unless you are OK with the status quo – with ever-increasing premiums for less and less coverage, and with millions without any health care coverage at all. As both a physician and a lawyer, hers is a well-informed opinion.
Her argument is that “Obamacare” is the last, best chance to make private health insurance work, but she is doubtful that even it is up to the job. It is a testament to how skewed towards the right our political debate has become that one option that might really work – a public insurance model that works very well everywhere else in the developed world, that gets better outcomes than ours at a fraction of the cost – was never even discussed by the Congress.
American exceptionalism is supposed to be a good thing, but increasingly it is an indicator of our weaknesses, not our strengths.