Health Insurance and Hard Choices
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Salon has a doctor writing about how even â€œsocializedâ€ health care is way too expensive because the emphasis is on â€œget sick, go to the doctorâ€ instead of on prevention. Like pretty much all decent people outside of the U.S., he takes first world nationsâ€™ responsibility to see to the health care of all citizens as a moral given, much the way Americans see â€œsocializedâ€ education, roads, and fire departments as a given. So really, this is just an argument about the hows, not the whethers. Itâ€™s worth noting that Dr. Parikh uses Canada as his main point of comparison, and theirs considered one of the most inefficient universal health systems.
That said, I agree with him that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure in health care. Which is why I lose my shit watching wingnuts in D.C. redirect HIV aid from prevention to treatment, because I believe they think AIDS is a good disincentive/punishment for having sex and they donâ€™t want to interfere with catching it. No matter if you can get AIDS drugs to every man, woman, and child who needs them around the world, youâ€™ll save more lives if you blunt the spread of the disease through condoms and education. Few diseases, once acquired, have a magic bullet cure. To use a more mundane example, think about dentistry. They can do amazing things in that field, fix teeth that a century before would have fallen right out your head with a lot of pain attending. If you do lose your teeth, they can make new ones for you. But thereâ€™s no crown, no filling, no dentures that can equal the tooth you grew by yourself, and any dentist will tell you that. The disease of tooth decay wasnâ€™t cured, really, but its worst symptoms were managed. Same story with heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that plague our health care system.