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Six Viral Articles to Make You a Health Care Expert

Whether you think public-option health care is a panacea or a slippery slope, you can’t deny that the issue has prompted plenty of dialogue (and, okay, invective.) Rather than keeping up on all the bloviating, here are six viral articles about the health care debate that will make you an impromptu expert. Do we really need a public option?

Whether you think public-option health care is a panacea or a slippery slope, you can’t deny that the issue has prompted plenty of dialogue (and, okay, invective.) Rather than keeping up on all the bloviating, here are six viral articles about the health care debate that will make you an impromptu expert.

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Do we really need a public option?

This article postulates that the Obama administration might be willing to live with public co-op plans instead of a full, government-run health care option. “I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” says Katherine Sebelius, the President’s secretary of health and human services. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.” Below, Sebelius with Obama in April, courtesy of Reuters.

Katherine Sebelius

Learning from Europe

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is sick of American right-wingers using his country’s National Health Service as an example of socialized evil. British citizens are sick of it too–a pro-NHS Twitter campaign (#welovetheNHS) quickly became the target of so many tweets that the site had trouble handling the volume, summoning the increasingly-rare Fail Whale. Check out the Brits’ take at politics.co.uk.

Nice one, Glenn Beck

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There are a lot of legitimate anti-Obama health care voices, but Glenn Beck of Fox News isn’t one of them. The Daily Show shows why leaving the discussion to pundits, not policy wonks, isn’t a safe way to conduct a national discourse

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck’s Operation
www.thedailyshow.com

Can the market solve the problems?

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a well-considered health care op-ed in this week’s Wall Street Journal. Among his proposals: end the inter-state ban on insurance sales so the market becomes nation-wide, and make individual health care tax deductible. Great ideas, but they’ve cost him; a Whole Foods boycott is in the works.

What about Medicare?

If you believe this NYTimes.com editorial by Paul Krugman, part of the vehement opposition to a public health care option may be an ignorance of what, exactly, constitutes a public health care option. He describes a town hall meeting in Texas where almost the entire crowd raised their hands when asked if they opposed a public option. Then the representative running the meeting asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Nearly half. (Below, protesters in New Hampshire, courtesy of Telegraph UK.

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Slow down, and do it right

The US Chamber of Commerce has spent several million dollars on TV commercials that condemn the public option. According to the Congressional Budget Office, public health care would balloon the deficit $239 billion; the CoC plans on making sure everyone knows it. Check out one of their spots below.

Listing image courtesy of Salon.com

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About the author

I've written about innovation, design, and technology for Fast Company since 2007. I was the co-founding editor of FastCoLabs

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