Health Care Reform - What's Really Important?

We can argue all we want to about how health care should or should not be provided. Should we have a public option or co-ops to compete with private insurers? Should we have a single-payer option like in Canada, or should government not be involved?

Or, we can look beyond that, to what we all really want underneath. What are the underlying values that are important to us in a health care system? Can we agree on any of these, even if we disagree on the solution?

Here’s a starter list of what’s important to me:

  • Health care should be affordable for everyone. Even for those who can’t pay anything.
  • Affordable health care should be available even if you lose your job, or if you decide to start a small business instead of having a job.
  • People should not be denied health coverage due to pre-existing conditions or disabilities.

Now, these points could be covered by a single-payer system, by a British-style socialized medicine system, or by the kind of plan currently being proposed in Congress. Or maybe there’s another solution entirely.

What’s important to you in a health care system?


Kathleen blogs about health care even more at


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