Obama’s nor McCain’s proposed health care reforms can fix America’s broken system.">

Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Last Things: Cold Comfort in the Far Future

What is the Future of the Sharing Economy?

Don’t Diss Dystopias: Sci-fi’s warning tales are as important as its optimistic stories.

And The Least Peaceful Places On Earth Are… | Global Peace Index 2014

Supertasking and Mindfulness

Will Brain Wave Technology Eliminate the Need for a Second Language?


ieet books

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
Author
Keith Wiley


comments

hankpellissier on 'Supertasking and Mindfulness' (Sep 30, 2014)

bubble13 on 'How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?' (Sep 29, 2014)

Dick Burkhart on 'The Obvious Relationship Between Climate and Family Planning—and Why We Don’t Talk About' (Sep 29, 2014)

instamatic on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 29, 2014)

Taiwanlight on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 27, 2014)

Farrah Greyson on 'Are Technological Unemployment and a Basic Income Guarantee Inevitable or Desirable?' (Sep 27, 2014)

instamatic on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 26, 2014)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
Sep 16, 2014
(14534) Hits
(7) Comments

MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story
Sep 14, 2014
(5257) Hits
(1) Comments

An open source future for synthetic biology
Sep 9, 2014
(5051) Hits
(0) Comments

Steven Pinker’s Guide to Classic Style
Sep 11, 2014
(4118) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Life > Access > Health > Contributors > Silke Fauve

Print Email permalink (3) Comments (3480) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


America’s Journey to Universal Healthcare: A Long and Winding Road


Silke Fauve
By Silke Fauve
Ethical Technology

Posted: Jun 13, 2008

Neither Obama’s nor McCain’s proposed health care reforms can fix America’s broken system.

In either case, there will be a significant number of people who still can’t afford the care that would enable them to survive a life threatening illness or accident.  The $2,500 savings or tax credit is small change in a world where $300,000 hospital bills and $1,500 a month drug expenses are possible.  Although $2,500 might cover a portion of the cost of threadbare insurance plans, it would not cover the bills incurred by chronically ill patients who need to fill five or six prescriptions for expensive drugs every month, or save the lives of those whose insurance “runs out” during an extended illness.

One obstacle to arriving at a humane and efficient universal coverage solution is that Americans remain divided about whether all citizens deserve health care, regardless of their level of economic productivity.  We lack solidarity. If we really believed “it’s our willingness to be our brothers’ keepers that in part defines who we are as Americans,” as Michael L. Millenson claims in “Want Universal Health Care? The Operative ‘Word Is ‘Care’” we would have taken decisive action long ago. 

Millenson admits that fewer and fewer physicians are willing to accept Medicaid and uninsured patients. One might be tempted to denounce prosperous physicians for their inflated charges and for shunning the uninsured. But it’s likely that many doctors care; they simply can’t afford to accept the comparatively small reimbursement, considering their enormous overhead and escalating malpractice premiums. Physicians who escape that quicksand scenario by practicing within the confines of managed care must sacrifice autonomy. The current system has betrayed both doctors and patients. 

In response to a New York Times editorial suggesting that Medicare be expanded to replace private insurance companies, Arnold S. Relman, M.D. writes that nothing short of “salaried physicians working in prepaid medical groups” will stem the rising cost of medical care.  This professor emeritus of medicine and social medicine at Harvard Medical School explains that Medicare’s costs have kept pace with escalating private sector costs because “economic incentives encourage overuse of expensive medical technology even when it is of unproven or marginal benefit.”

Through the lens of the socialism-fearing economists writing for Capitalism Magazine, universal health care is a euphemism for socialized medicine, with its accompanying evils: poor service, bureaucratic waste, erosion of physician autonomy, and elimination of patient choice. But how can that be the case when universal care providers would not be on the government payroll, but have a fee-for-service practice? The Case for Universal Health Care in the United States explains that “it is a health care payment system, not a health care delivery system.” 

It’s true that patients in Canada and other universal systems have had to put up with longer waits for appointments and have endured other restrictions that Americans would find onerous.  However, they are in the process of implementing the needed reforms, and by studying their systems America could learn how to avoid some of the initial problems. In a presentation at the 2007 World Health Congress in Barcelona, Spain, David Nicholson, the chief executive of Britain’s patient centered National Health Service, explained how the UK has increased its per capita healthcare spending by 11 percent between 2002 and 2008, resulting in dramatically decreased wait times and a significant decrease in mortality rates for major diseases.  Not only have patient care and outcomes improved, the system expects a surplus of £13m. Patients continue to report “high levels of satisfaction.”

Nicholson reported that the UK is also implementing information technology that improves patient care and encourages patients to assume more personal responsibility in managing their health.  British patients are scheduling appointments online and receiving prescriptions electronically.  Doctors have e-access to patients’ x-rays, enabling them to diagnose life-threatening conditions and intervene from a distance. Eventually, patients, as well as their doctors, will be able to view their medical records online in interactive formats tailored to the needs of each.

We have a long way to go.

America remains the only industrialized nation without universal coverage for its citizens. We proudly spend considerably more—at least 40 percent more per capita—than nations with universal access to care, only to achieve markedly poorer performance.  And we obtain this sorry outcome despite the outstanding education of our health care professionals and our superior medical infrastructure. Even those who lack fellow-feeling for the non-insured and under-insured might feel a twinge of shame about that.


Silke Fauve teaches college English and promotes critical thinking about transhumanist issues, as a World Transhumanist Association activist.


Silke Fauve teaches college English in Washington and promotes critical thinking about transhumanist issues, as a Humanity+ activist.
Print Email permalink (3) Comments (3481) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


Your post includes certain facts that i didn’t know about.Strange to know that America is the only industrialized nation which does not offer universal coverage for its citizens.

http://www.sjsinfo.net





Even after being heavily involved in reading on Ethics technology for around a year, Now only I have gained knowledge on this through your article.Thanks for sharing.





I have healthcare, and I waited 3 hours at my local ER.





YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: IEET News for June 14, 2008

Previous entry: Is there a Nanotech Rapture to be Ruptured?

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376