Good luck, Dana...
... you'll need it, and a lot of it, as long as you persist in presenting facts. However, some of us are with you, and willing to share the attack on the delusional. For instance, let's take on at least parts of the first three offerings for this post...
"Torte reform"... does that mean new recipes? The FACT is, lawsuits in the medical arena in general resolve to far less than 2% of the net dollars on the table. If you want to 'fix' this problem, get the AMA (and the other medical associations) to actively assist in identifying their own failures. How about a public list of quality factors in health care, including the identities of those who generate the problems? Let's find out who does the bad things, whether doctors, hospitals, clinics, or bureaucrats. Along those lines, why can't we know which claims insurance companies deny, and why, and how many of those denials are overturned? Better yet, how many die from the delays of care that IS provided? If there IS a problem, isn't sunlight still the best disinfectant? And by the way, if malpractice premiums are such a terror, why don't we get some truth about how much they generate for the insurors, and how much those same insurors really profit from them? Not so incidentally, all the 'losses' from malpractice suits reduce the insurors' bottom lines... think that might be interesting information? After all, in the end is IS your money... Waste and fraud ARE important, and we SHOULD be concerned.
Government is the problem? Yeah like that's serious. Reagan is gone, get over it. FACT here is that government does the best job, by FAR, in delivering services for the least cost. You don't like it, stop driving on my roads, or agree to pay by the mile to some benevolent banker for being able to go anywhere anytime. If you're upset that services are not as efficient at you think they should be, let's get together and make them BETTER. If your complaint is that government doesn't charge enough for what it does, that's one thing, but why are you whining that you're getting a good deal? The health industry, including insurance as a business, starts by adding 30% (OK, pick your number, it might be more) to EVERYTHING they do -- remember, they're vertically integrated and take that slice at every ledger line -- and you pay that FIRST. You're welcome to your distortions of the Adam Smith mythology, but you should at least understand the price delusions carry.
And the constant carping about 'government funded insurance'? Nobody -- NOBODY -- with a working understanding of the situation misunderstands who pays, no matter how the game is structured. Nobody with a rational view of the need argues that anything is 'free'. That's not the question, and no matter how loud the screams are it won't be.
What we're seeing is a misleading dislocation of the whole argument from what it SHOULD be -- health care -- to the protection of business interests -- insurance care. It's fine that we do that, as long as it's clear what's at stake.
I admit it... I'm tired of the bitching and the selfishness and the insane rhetoric of the current discussion. It's fine to not agree with the current administration, or insist on pursuing the inevitable outcome of measuring everything in dollars, but the argument doesn't work with private -- not to mention irrational -- 'facts'. If it's all imagined cost, or the bullet points of profiteers, or 75 years of political 'spin', those are problems in themselves and NONE contributes to anything useful.
Here are some better questions to kick around... how many children should die next year to save $20? How many years too soon should grandmothers die for the lack of flu vaccine or simple and cheap cardiac medications? And one more, just to be sure I cover all the options (with apologies to Strunk and White)... who's brother AREN'T we the keeper of?