The basic philisophical issue for me is whether health care should be treated as a commodity/industry or as a right. Currently it seems a mixture of both.
What have the great advances in health care stemmed from? Altruistic scientists or profit-minded investors? Or a mixture of both?
Research, discovery, and invention. Has free-market capitalism accelerated scientific advances? Or scientific fraud? Or a mixture of both?
In efforts to obtain research funding, do medical scientists and biologists get co-opted?
Are we too much of a "pill" society? Is it justified?
If you struggle to answer the above questions, consider that our Congressmen have similar struggles.
The loudest voices in the health care debate never seem to talk about advantages AND disadvantages of what they propose. The closest to objective comments that I have heard are on the order of "no system will be perfect", which, to me, amounts to no more than punting the ball away from hard questions. And it pisses me off that that is as close as it comes.
My understanding is that, sans reform, things like medicaid will run out of money. I have heard that our health care costs are a tremendous amount of both personal and government budgets.
I laugh when I hear the phrase "affordable health care". Home foreclosures continue apace with rising percentages in both subprime and traditional morgages. Staggering numbers of home loans are behind in payments. Unemployment strikes hard. Question: What is affordable for these folks? Answer: A bottle of aspirin, at best.
I'm left with the conclusion that we simply cannot afford to keep people alive.
On the other hand we have the Cleveland Clinic. Subject for another thread.