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Good health care reform badly needed

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There's a lot of talk in Washington and around the country about the latest health care reform plan. No matter what happens, we need some sort of positive reform of our system.

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Our confidence that it will turn out that way isn't high.

But first, we need to put aside some of the silliness and talk about what's really important.

The discussion over whether America has better health care or worse health care than Canada, the U.K. or India is irrelevant. When you add it all up, America has the best doctors, nurses, medical equipment and facilities in the world. No matter how we pay for it, that's going to remain the case.

It's about how we finance our system. Many reform opponents trumpet the line that the Obama plan would put a government bureaucrat between a patient and a doctor.

Whether that's true or not, let's not pretend our current system is some efficient utopia where doctors and patients are holding hands together making decisions. It's certainly not.

Right now, we have bureaucrats in a corporation with a profit motive making the same sorts of choices and rationing. How can we be sure those who have a financial incentive to deny coverage are angels, and the government worker would necessarily be a devil?

On the other hand, Obama's failure to put forward a single-payer plan, and his utter lack of details in his current plan are troubling. How are we supposed to get behind a $1 trillion plan when we have no idea how it will work? We need details, and we need them now.

The worst thing that can happen is to leave the status quo, but that's what appears the most likely. Delay will turn into death for any hope of reform.

How many patients are going to meet the same fate, while our "leaders" enjoy their socialized medicine courtesy of our government, yielding to the health care industry lobbyists who are whispering in their ear?

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