President Obama continues with his ambitious agenda, today's healthcare reform summit. Wish I could have made it there (although Ezra Klein's highlights are probably the next best thing), as there seems to have been a reasonable representation of the public. However, it doesn't appear that there are any commentators on health care from countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Japan, France, or any other industrialized country invited to attend. That's kind of a shame, because it's always good to consider a variety of options on this potentially complicated issue.
In any case, one reason (which even progressive folk seem scared to voice outright) that universal healthcare systems offer reasonable quality healthcare at lower cost than ours is that covering everyone is cheaper than only covering some people. Unfortunately, our current healthcare "system" is built on the opposite assumption, voiced by Republican congressman Wamp of Tennessee, who stated on MSNBC that healthcare is a privilege. Unbelievable.
Like other Republicans, he'd like to fiddle with the tax code to provide incentives for health insurance. Lame. Ineffective. Obstructionist. The Republican way.