The level of misinformation and uninformed comment (from both parties) is staggering. The Right misinforms for its own political ends, ironically, to the obvious determent of the vast majority of its vocal supporters. The left seems to have better instincts, but insufficient empirical ammunition to bolster its case or allay the fears of the under-informed.
The Dartmouth Atlas Project provides conclusive evidence that there is no reason we cannot achieve universal access, quality care, better outcomes and lower costs, all at the same time.
This is not based on comparisons with other nations (while often useful) but on examination of twenty years of the US experience.
The information is digestible, empirical and free of political bias. As a layman, it took me a couple of hours to work through four reports, but doing so eased the tremendous frustration I was feeling about competing, unsupported claims made by both parties.
I found the Dartmouth link at the brilliant Bill Moyers PBS health care site.
I cannot stress enough how enlightening the reports are. After looking at the Dartmouth site, one must conclude that the only obstacles to better, cheaper health care for everyone are political. Progressives have been far too timorous; Democrats, far too duplicitous.
If the electorate had factual information, majority support for real reform would be axiomatic. As it is, progressives now have to fight a rear-guard battle with their own party whose true goal seems to be out-hustling Republicans for corporate largess to further future political ambitions. Hence, both sides of the debate are arguing flip sides of the same fact-impaired, amoral corporate talking-points.
I would love to lock all of our media commentators and legislators in a big room and force them to read and debate the Dartmouth data on C-SPAN before they are allowed to utter one more word in public. I guess it’s always easier and more lucrative to help people be afraid than informed. We’ve got our work cut out for us.