Hawaii has had “Government-mandated health care” for 40 years!

February 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Posted in health, politics straight up, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
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The first half of this Daily Show clip from Thursday, February 11, 2010 is Jon Stewart pointing and laughing at Republics — John Boehner in particular — who are outraged that President Obama has invited them to a public discussion of health care. “It’s a trap!”

But the reason I post this clip is the second half.

John Oliver attended the RNC gathering in Hawaii a couple weeks back and demonstrated not just the Republics’ ignorance about Hawaii’s 40-year “experiment with socialism” but the hollowness of their claims that health care systems like Hawaii’s are guaranteed to fail.

It’s too bad Americans have to watch a comedy program to get useful information about current realities and the likelihood of particular future outcomes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(NYTimes) But perhaps the most intriguing lesson from Hawaii has to do with costs. This is a state where regular milk sells for $8 a gallon, gasoline costs $3.60 a gallon and the median price of a home in 2008 was $624,000 — the second-highest in the nation. Despite this, Hawaii’s health insurance premiums are nearly tied with North Dakota for the lowest in the country, and Medicare costs per beneficiary are the nation’s lowest.

Hawaii residents live longer than people in the rest of the country, recent surveys have shown, and the state’s health care system may be one reason. In one example, Hawaii has the nation’s highest incidence of breast cancer but the lowest death rate from the disease.

Now, you may see stories with headlines such as “Hawaii’s Failed Universal Health Care Experiment.” They are all the same nonsense Fox News was peddling in July 2009, a conflation of Hawaii eliminating a health care program for children with the entire system being a tragic failure.

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