Former doctor, psychiatrist and still America’s best columnist Charles Krauthammer is interviewed in Der Spiegel, with the English-language version being here. Much of the interview is explicitly political and about the job President Obama is doing on issues that we normally don’t address at the blog. Krauthammer also offers many good thoughts about health care reform, as well, which do fit:
SPIEGEL: How could Obama still win Republican support for healthcare reform?
Krauthammer: He should finally realize that we need to reform our insane malpractice system. The US is spending between $60 and $200 billion a year on protection against lawsuits. I used to be a doctor, I know how much is wasted on defensive medicine. Everybody I practiced with spends hours and enormous amounts of money on wasted tests, diagnostic and procedures — all to avoid lawsuits. The Democrats will not touch it. When Howard Dean was asked why, he said honestly and explicitly that Democrats don’t want to antagonize the trial lawyers who donate huge amounts of money to the Democrats.
SPIEGEL: What would be your solution?
Krauthammer: I would make Americans pay half a percent tax on their health insurance and create a pool to socialize the cost of medical errors. That would save hundreds of billions of dollars that could be used to insure the uninsured. And second, I would abolish the absurd prohibition against buying health insurance in another state — that reduces competition and keeps health insurance rates artificially high.
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