Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, granting that swine flu "has proven to be relatively mild so far," nevertheless says it shows how poor many aspects of our public health care system are. The answer: Support Obamacare legislation and throw money at the problem.
"The good news," writes Milbank
is that there's a provision in the House version of the health-care reform bill, written by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), that would fix much of the problem. Now, state and local public health departments get federal grants only for specific diseases and conditions, which makes it difficult to maintain a core public health infrastructure. Waxman would solve this by spending $1.3 billion a year on overall public health -- and in exchange for the cash, state and local health departments would have to meet minimum standards for such basic things as laboratories, disease surveillance and vaccine delivery. A national accreditation board would enforce the standards.
In other words, reward an inefficient government bureaucracy by giving it more money and - presto, chango! - it becomes efficient.
When pigs fly.