US/healthcare/reform

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About

It has been widely agreed for many years that the US healthcare system is in need of some kind of reform. Due to the vast inefficiencies of the existing US system, which among the wealthy/industrialized nations has both some of the highest per-capita costs and lowest service quality, most liberals and a few conservatives agree that a major overhaul is needed.

The majority of conservatives are generally against a major reform and instead favor regulatory changes to improve the existing system, keeping it both "competitive" (a code-word meaning "profitable to investors" and "big-business friendly") and "uniquely American" (a meaningless phrase in this context, since any solution would be dealing with the "uniquely American" style of government and healthcare infrastructure, thus making it "uniquely American" regardless).

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Initiatives

  • 2009-07-14 US 111 HR 3200 (OpenCongress, THOMAS), "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009", has the backing of Obama-Biden; more complex, retains option to use existing insurance plans
  • 2009-01-26 US 111 HR 676 (Wikipedia) sponsored by John Conyers, Jr. "To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes." Essentially makes Medicare universal; single-payer plan. Obama-Biden is not backing this bill, as Obama has apparently dropped support for single-payer, and it seems to have dropped off the radar -- which is too bad, because most people who support HR3200 would probably support HR676 even more.

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