DQ here. I was reading an article on the buy-out of Chrysler the other day when one line caught my eye. The group taking the company private is paying $1.4 billion and agreeing to invest $6.1 billion in the company. Sounds like a bargain for a company the size of Chrysler. But there is a catch. The group also agreed to pay $18 billion in retiree health care. That number dwarfed every other number in the deal. It makes me wonder, whether publicly or privately financed, how much health care can we afford? We have this fantasy that if the government just puts in the right program everyone in America will have complete health care at someone else’s expense. But how realistic is this? The health care industry continues to create ever more impressive miracles to keep us alive and healthy. 100 years ago, I would have died from a ruptured appendix. In 1995, my surgery was routine (okay, leaving aside that I was misdiagnosed and darn near died from the wait!). However, miracles are expensive and the cost of health care continues to rise far faster than our ability to pay for it.
I also wonder to what extent the government can get involved in providing health care coverage without killing the goose that lays those golden miracles. So, what ideas to the Bookwormroom readers have to improve our health care system? How important is this issue to you in the upcoming presidential race? Which candidates have plans you can support? Oppose?