Monday, July 24, 2006

Feingold's Interesting New Idea on Health Care

Having already lauded Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc) for his courageous stance on civil liberties (have I formally endorsed his candidacy for U.S. President in 2008 yet?) I was pleased to see that he has proposed doing something serious about health care. According to both survey data and my own (shared with many others) sense of social justice, health care is the #1 domestic issue right now.

Feingold's proposal is a new idea to me. His plan is a first step towards universal health care. Instead of pushing for NATIONAL universal health care immediately, he proposes supporting STATES in efforts to try out various kinds of serious health care reform. I haven't really had time to think through the plan, but I find it in many ways a breath of fresh air to perhaps break the impass on health care. I have long resisted any "health care reform" plan that stops short of single-payer universal health care, which is probably the only way to both provide health care to everyone always and contain costs at the same time. But this alternative seems promising to me, because it would allow for single-payer experimentation at the state level. There may be some states with more progressive political cultures that might very well take the opportunity to try out some bold plans, without being held back by the conservative parts of the country. Once they see how it is working, it might then go national. At least that's the hope. Like I said, it sounds promising to me at first glance. Any other thoughts?


Rob said...

That is a novel approach. I have to think this through myself. States are often referred to as the laboratories of governance. Politically it may also be easier to sell than single payer system on the federal level. I want to read and hear more.

starfish128 said...

See Bernie Horn's August 2 opinion piece "Universal Solutions" posted on