Late Night Health Policy

Apparently, entertainers who get into politics have a tendency to be interested in “universal health care.”

Satirist Al Franken–and candidate for the U.S. Senate–was on David Letterman’s show last week, and that was the first policy goal he mentioned, in the midst of a running commentary about whether he could funny, while “trying to do serious things for people.”

So Letterman asked “what are issues that made you want to run?” Franken reponded, “We gotta get to universal health care. We just have to. This doesn’t mean single-payer, where the government pays for everything; we can get to it different ways in different states.” He has previously said he supported a universal single payer system; his joke last night was that he understood people’s distrust in government, given the leadership of the last several years.

Letterman, who often gives a surprisingly good political interview, didn’t want to let the topic go, and asked, “In terms of the world picture. where does the United States rank among nations that provide health care?”

Franken: “According to the World Health Organziation study, we rank number 37 in health care, even though we spend more than anybody per person. We spend 16% of our GDP, no other nation spends 11% We are 37th as a health care system, right between Costa Rica and Slovenia. And Slovenia, I think, is making its move.”

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