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Just finished my Post Chat where, as I mentioned earlier, Scott Armstrong of Group Health Cooperative joined me. Armstrong is president and CEO of the largest health-care cooperative in the country, and so is better placed to comment on the ongoing debate about co-ops than, well, anyone else. You can read the whole transcript here. And many thanks if you were one of the folks who contributed a question!

By Ezra Klein  |  June 18, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
 
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Comparing our system to any other is a HUGE red herring.
1) other health care systems, outside the US, rely on the US to exist to supplement their health care system.
2) Any other system you show me has a smaller population and a more homogeneous population. So of course it would be less expensive (and the study showing how care is more expensive in certain areas...well, those areas have a higher cost of living, so doctors/tests/hospitals *would necessarily* be more expensive there).
3) who really believes that a system that might work in NYC would work in rural mississippi? Or Miami? Or nebraska? We are an incredibly diverse country - so who would think that an answer in one place would or could be the answer for another?

OF COURSE something needs to be done...and the private sector has started. There are places I can get free antibiotics. Drug stores have begun to open up clinics. Places like hellohealth.com are changing the discussion. But having the federal government decide that something needs to be done and that there is one answer isn't the sanest of proposals.

Part of the problem is that many people think health care should be FREE. And it is NOT. It cannot be...someone has to pay for it (like, um, everything else). We need a way for people to quit their jobs and keep health care (and another red herring...the idea that people need INSURANCE. They do not. They need HEALTH CARE). We are losing entrepreneurs because families can't afford to lose their health care access.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | June 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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