NOT "Socialized Medicine"; Public Health INSURANCE
1. There are long waiting lines for medical service in countries that have it.
2. We can't afford it.
Both are mostly wrong. "Long wait" is a relative thing. How long do all those people in the U.S. have to wait if they have no coverage? They might wait until they are deathly ill and have to go to the emergency room. Talk about expensive care, and we all have to pay for it.
"Afford it?" We who spend more money on health care than any other people on earth? And what do we get for all that money? 37th rank in the world in public health, that's what.
I firmly disagree with the well-worn politicians' statement: “There is no single prescription to solving our nation’s serious uninsured problem”. There is a prescription that’s working quite well in many first world countries, which I am sure all those Senators, Congressmen and Administration types know all about.
Let me be clear. I am 100% for a “single payer” health care system wherein the federal government functions as the health insurance company for all Americans. It collects revenue via taxes (payroll and others) and pays private or public health providers fair rates for services much as the Medicare system does. It should have a major medical provision to put an end to medical destitution. It does not have to be invented, as universal health care has several successful models working around the world. We simply need to study them, emulate their best points and improve the rest. If we can put a man on the moon…
Our prohibitively expensive “middle-man” system is fundamentally flawed. Health insurance companies must be reduced to specialty firms serving those who want special coverage and can afford it. A transition from our bloated, profit-driven health insurance system to a dispassionate non-profit one will be wrenching, but the need is so great that we simply must do it and do it with great urgency.
When we do it, the two huge problems we have are solved. No more uninsured! And if you already are insured, no more getting screwed regularly by your insurance company! Suddenly everyone is insured, and everyone who is insured is properly insured. No disqualifications for being sick. No bankruptcies for being really sick. No spending hours and days and weeks fighting arbitrary insurance toadies for what is rightfully yours. Ask anyone on Medicare.
The margin of efficiency of Medicare over private insurance is so substantial that the costs for all Americans would drop significantly with a single-payer, universal health care federal system. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from such a system. The health and productivity of the entire American population will improve.
To deny ourselves these benefits based on a political or financial ideology is self destructive for our country. Healthcare is a major problem for us, and it is going to get worse until it’s fixed. The free-market, free enterprise principles that are so successful in many kinds of businesses simply have no place in health care. A healthy population is a huge national asset; adequate health care is an individual right. Our current system is robbing us of both of these.
(This is a re-write of a letter I sent to one of my Senators. Please feel free - if you agree - to use any part or all of it to mail something to the politicians who represent you. You can bet the health insurance lobbyists are talking to them. B$G time!)