Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials -

“Stan­dard & Poor’s de­ci­sion to down­grade the ... credit rat­ing of the United States should have been ac­com­pa­nied by a mod­est mea culpa. S&P, af­ter all, played a ma­jor role in stok­ing the 2008 melt­down that con­tin­ues to haunt the global econ­omy. ... S&P en­cour­aged ir­re­spon­si­ble in­vest­ment by giv­ing its bless­ing to real-es­tate-backed in­stru­ments that turned out to be junk. … For all of its faults, S&P was right about its as­sess­ment of the prob­lems that un­der­lie the U.S. econ­omy. Gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­tures are too high; rev­enue re­mains un­ten­ably low; and the ran­corous po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment that brought the coun­try to the brink of de­fault last week casts doubt on the will­ing­ness of its lead­ers to cor­rect the im­bal­ance.”

—Wash­ing­ton­Post “If Amer­ica truly is se­ri­ous about deal­ing with its deficit prob­lems, there’s a fairly sim­ple so­lu­tion. ... En­act a sin­gle-payer health­care plan. … Ev­ery­one who has stud­ied the deficit prob­lem has agreed that it’s ac­tu­ally a health­care prob­lem—more specif­i­cally, the cost of pro­vid­ing Medi­care

“Stan­dard & Poor’s de­ci­sion to down­grade the long-term credit rat­ing of the United States should have been ac­com­pa­nied by a mod­est mea culpa.”

ben­e­fits to an aging and longer-liv­ing pop­u­la­tion. … Once ev­ery­one is cov­ered, the gov­ern­ment would have the clout to bring dis­ci­pline into the wild west of health­care spend­ing. It could in­sist that providers be paid for qual­ity of ser­vice, not quan­tity. … Even­tu­ally, the United States will have a sin­gle-payer plan. But we’ll waste a lot of money and time get­ting there.”

—St.LouisPost-Dis­patch “No politi­cian, re­gard­less of ide­ol­ogy or the num­ber of Tea Party ral­lies he at­tends, is go­ing to op­pose a gov­ern­ment pro­gram that 96% of the nation finds value in. ... the NewYorker’s Atul Gawande has re­ported, ‘On July 30, 1965, Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son signed Medi­care into law. In pub­lic mem­ory, what en­sued was the smooth es­tab­lish­ment of a pop­u­lar pro­gram, but in fact Medi­care faced a year of nearly crip­pling rear­guard at­tacks.’ With the law suc­cess­fully de­fended by Pres­i­dent John­son through a com­bi­na­tion of hard­ball tac­tics. ... Medi­care went on ... to reach its lofty perch in the minds of al­most all Amer­i­cans. That must be why no one in to­day’s po­lit­i­cal cul­ture ever dis­cusses killing LBJ­care.”

—An­nis­ton (Ala.) Star

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