Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Health Care on the front burner in Robbinsdale

As you probably know, my corner of town is home to the largest hospital for 350 miles around and my town is a health care center for South Dakota. Then what better place to build a grass-roots movement to clean up this health care mess we are in? It isn't like Washington DC is going to help us!

Today there was a presentation hosted by Health Care for America Now. Featured speaker was Dr. Sarge Preston, who has been working on ideas to develop a single-payer system in South Dakota. He told the group that his feeling is that health insurance does not work in a for-profit model, but health care can. Business is being terribly hurt by our broken system, so we all have a stake in improving the system. He would like to see a multi-state single-payer not-for-profit insurance system; such a system would create affordability to all by creating a large risk pool and providing competition among health care providers, with regulation to ensure access. Taking profit out of the insurance part of things would remove huge expenses of administration that are many of us uninsured, and most of us underinsured. Keeping the provider side of things private is important to keep things affordable and care responsive--if people get lousy care, they can go to another provider. If the state is getting a bad deal, they can do the same.

Thanks to longtime friend of the PenDems Chas Jewett, who has returned to the area to work on this effort, we had a full house, including quite a few Democratic candidates.

Why no Republican candidates or insurance industry folks?

Maybe they like things the way they are?

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