I think it can be argued that of all the active TV journalists, Bill Moyers best fits the role of America’s conscience. He had a superb interview with Bill Maher on Real Time last Friday (the website has yet to post the episode, but segments are available on YouTube).
In this interview, Moyers argues the moral imperative of health care for all, and explains how the Obama Administration has failed to ineffectively communicate the message. Here’s my two cents:
There are many concerns about health care reform. Many people worry about the cost, hard on the heels of an economic bust, record deficits and two protracted wars. Many groups, especially elders and those with disabilities, worry that cost controls may ration care away from them. Some worry about access to providers, whether a government plan will create good or bad competition, malpractice trends and whether such a plan will intrude on physicians’ ability to practice medicine.
[By the way, in the past 25 years, EVERY one of my denied claims or attempts to dictate my practice has come from private insurance / HMOs, and NEVER from the government (Medicare) plan. At the same time the other government plan – Medicaid – would be a very bad template for universal coverage.]
First we must acknowledge that these concerns are real and need to be addressed. Then everyone needs to come to the table and work it out. What we CANNOT do is nothing.
We are the only developed nation in the world that does not hold health care for all as a basic right, and that is shameful. This is a moral imperative, and those who do not want any change are similar to those who think nursing homes should stay the way they are.
The status quo is unacceptable.