Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perhaps the best health care option for America combines public and civil society

As a retired civil servant, I enjoy health care options provided by contracts with the federal government. As an old guy, I enjoy Medicare financing for my medical care, provided under the Social Security system. For many years I have obtained health care through Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit Health Maintenance Organization. The combination of a federally contracted, federally funded HMO works great for me.

The United States has a long history of civil society organizations, and HMO's which provide health services without a profit motive work quite well. I think no one would dare tamper with Medicare, and indeed it seems to work well and efficiently. Indeed, the financial transactions between the federal government and the HMO seem to be very simple and efficient, and no trouble at all for me.

I wish the new health care law had made this option more widely available. Even more, I wish that the law had not left ten to fifteen million Americans without health insurance, and had extended coverage to non-citizens living in the United States.

Still, we now have a comprehensive health care law and the system can be improved in the future.

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