Kent Conrad on Healthcare

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This quote from Kent Conrad made the rounds of the blogosphere yesterday:

Let me just conclude for my progressive friends who believe that the only answer to getting costs under control and having universal coverage is by a government-run program. I urge my colleagues to read the book by T.R. Reid, “The Healing of America.”

I had the chance to read it this weekend. He looks at the health-care systems around the world. And what he found is in many countries they have universal coverage. They contain costs effectively. They have high-quality outcomes, in fact higher than ours. They’re not government-run systems in Germany, in Japan, in Switzerland, in France, in Belgium — all of them contain costs, have universal coverage, have very high quality care and yet are not government-run systems.

This has been sort of rattling around in my head ever since I saw it, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I wanted to say about it.  But then I figured it out: it’s completely, 100% batshit crazy.  I mean, is this actually breaking news to Conrad after (excuse me a moment while I google) 22 years in the Senate?  WTF?

Believe me: Conrad’s “progressive friends” would be punch drunk with ecstacy if the United States adopted the healthcare system of (take your pick) Japan, France or Germany.  It would be beyond our wildest dreams.  Does Conrad really not know this?  Did he only find out this weekend that those other countries have terrific healthcare systems that contain costs, provide universal coverage, and boast very high-quality care?  What’s going on?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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