Monday, July 10, 2017

Too Important to be Left in the Hands of Congress

Watching "Prime Minister's Questions" Wednesday nights, I have come to understand why England has universal health care and we, in the United States, do not.

About 25% of all the questions asked of the Prime Minister had to do with health care or the public health. A promised new clinic was behind schedule and the Member of Parliament from that district was indignant. 

Oh, to see our own President in a setting like that every Wednesday, where a 140 character Tweet would not be sufficient, but where the President has to respond immediately to the question on behalf of a Representative's constituents in real time.

When government undertakes a health care system, the people running government find themselves face to face with an aroused public. This is not a question of whether we are going to build a war plane in somebody's home district; this is something which actually affects lives where people live. If the war plane or the border wall never gets built, who cares?  But if your mother hasn't got her hip replacement and winds up parked in your house because she cannot get about, you will care about that.
Pia Guerra

The last thing Mitch McConnell or Jon Cornyn or Paul Ryan wants is to be responsible for something that actually matters in people's lives, something which would require them to be competent or be quickly exposed.

It is said there is no such thing as a mediocre heart surgeon. Either you are excellent enough to get those blood vessels and valves sewn in tight, or you are not and your patient dies. There is no room for second rate, half smart or just okay.
Pia Guerra

Of course, government bureaucrats do things every day which profoundly affect the well being of the public: keeping mad cow disease out of the food supply, doing air traffic control to keep thousands of flights from running into each other, maintaining bridges and levies, treating veterans in veterans' hospitals, rescuing boats caught in storms off the coasts, but most of these things are functions which keep systems which work well out of disaster's way.
Health care is more than watchful supervision--it requires active intervention in many cases; you are not just watching competent people do things right. You are actually one of those well trained competent people, doing the job right.

That, to most Congressmen, is a terrifying thought.

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