Катя (inostranka) wrote,

Healthcare, cont

Замечательная ссылка от mamaracha :  www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/26/090126fa_fact_gawande
Статья Атуля Гаванде (автора "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science"),  пишущего в Нью Йоркере, о том, как мы (США, Англия, Франция, Швейцария)  дошли до жизни такой. Очень рекомендую - статья несколько длинная (6 страниц), но очень хорошо объясняет ситуацию. Ниже - главная мысль (имхо). Написано, заметим, 26 января 2009ого года.

So accepting the path-dependent nature of our health-care system—recognizing that we had better build on what we’ve got—doesn’t mean that we have to curtail our ambitions. The overarching goal of health-care reform is to establish a system that has three basic attributes. It should leave no one uncovered—medical debt must disappear as a cause of personal bankruptcy in America. It should no longer be an economic catastrophe for employers. And it should hold doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug and device companies, and insurers collectively responsible for making care better, safer, and less costly.

We cannot swap out our old system for a new one that will accomplish all this. But we can build a new system on the old one. On the start date for our new health-care system—on, say, January 1, 2011—there need be no noticeable change for the vast majority of Americans who have dependable coverage and decent health care. But we can construct a kind of lifeboat alongside it for those who have been left out or dumped out, a rescue program for people like Starla Darling.

In designing this program, we’ll inevitably want to build on the institutions we already have. That precept sounds as if it would severely limit our choices. But our health-care system has been a hodgepodge for so long that we actually have experience with all kinds of systems. The truth is that American health care has been more flotilla than ship. Our veterans’ health-care system is a program of twelve hundred government-run hospitals and other medical facilities all across the country (just like Britain’s). We could open it up to other people. We could give people a chance to join Medicare, our government insurance program (much like Canada’s). Or we could provide people with coverage through the benefits program that federal workers already have, a system of private-insurance choices (like Switzerland’s).

These are all established programs, each with advantages and disadvantages. The veterans’ system has low costs, one of the nation’s best information-technology systems for health care, and quality of care that (despite what you’ve heard) has, in recent years, come to exceed the private sector’s on numerous measures. But it has a tightly limited choice of clinicians—you can’t go to see any doctor you want, and the nearest facility may be far away from where you live. Medicare allows you to go to almost any private doctor or hospital you like, and has been enormously popular among its beneficiaries, but it costs about a third more per person and has had a hard time getting doctors and hospitals to improve the quality and safety of their care. Federal workers are entitled to a range of subsidized private-insurance choices, but insurance companies have done even less than Medicare to contain costs and most have done little to improve health care (although there are some striking exceptions).

Tags: politics

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