Health Care

There is almost no aspect of political life that doesn’t have implications for our hobby. The issue of health care reform has more pertinacity to stamp collecting than most political issues because it bears so directly on the long term financial well being of our country and of all of us. And ultimately any business or hobby can only be as healthy as the general financial health of the population.
The headlines today that the health care and Pharma industries have essentially bought into the idea of some kind of health care reform is momentous. Previously, all attempts at government reform of health care has been met with obstruction on the part of the health care industry. It seems a real paradigm shift that the health care providers now see the system as broke and want to help to fix it. Cynics will say that the health industry has seen that reform is inevitable and have decided that the most effective way to get what they want is to try to manage reform from inside rather oppose it from outside. Perhaps, maybe even probably. Insurance companies have generally been best at representing their own interests rather than insureds. But perhaps there is a sense that the health care system really is at the breaking point, that the huge cost of health care really does harm our economic growth, and that a civilized nation really should not have a third or more of its people forced to receive either inadequate health care or none at all. There have been times in our history when huge changes in public perception has created enormous long lasting change. In the 1850’s the concept of public funding of education was considered radical though within 20 years it had no serious political opposition. Social Security, bank deposit insurance and unemployment insurance were considered radical in the 1930’s. Within 30 years there was no serious political opposition to them either. My guess is that when our grandchildren look back at the first years of the 21st century, they too will seem like a transformative time when the contract between members of society was negotiated anew.

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