Sunday, June 3, 2007
What is Universal Health Care?
Grey: no universal coverage
Blue: w/universal health care
Green: implementing universal health coverage
I think that our political discussions in this country have been vague about the answer to that question. Senator Obama recently introduced his health care plan. For the most part, I have been supportvie of Obama for president. But lately I have been looking elsewhere (I'm actually been increasingly impressed with Hillary believe it or not), and this new health plan is one reason why.
Like other health care plans that have been brought about, Obama's spreads the responsibility out among government, businesses, and consumers, and to pay for heath insurance while regulating health insurance companies (i.e. insurance companies won't be able to bar people from plans because of preexisting conditions). Though I like that businesses and government will be chipping in to pay for the plan, it takes the assumption that individuals would buy health insurance if only it were more affordable, like Edwards' stupid plan to make health insurance required like auto insurance. And in all this, heath insurance companies will benefit because they would have guaranteed customers and money coming into to them.
To paraphrase Dennis Kucinch, I support universal health care, but so do the insurance companies.
Michael Moore's new movie Sicko will be coming out soon, and I hope that a lot of people see it and are influenced by what Moore supports, which I do as well: government financed health care for all. A lot of our presidential candidates talk have a talking point that alludes to the fact that the U.S. is the only advanced country without universal health care. But those countries will still have something else that America won't have if we go through with health plans like those currently being purposed: guaranteed health care paid for by the government. In some countries, like England, doctors are employed by the government, but this isn't necessary for single payer plan. We can have a plan like Canada's where you are still given choice about who your doctor is (which you really don't have with the current health insurance companies), but the tab would be picked up by the government (which in turn would be be paid for by taxes on , ideally, wealthy individuals and corporations).
So, yes, I support universal health care, but my support can be narrowed down to single payer health insurance, where there is no middle-man insurance companies that serve no purpose but to make money. And this can be achieved through Medicare For All.
Medicare already does all of the things above for senior citizens; so the main goal of Medicare For All would be to gradually bring more people into the system, starting with the youngest and working its way up the age brackets.
Face it, if a Democrat is elected president, they are probably gonna try some crappy combination plan like the one Obama is supporting, and it may last for some time, but eventually we are going to have to switch to a system that works for people and satisfies them. So instead of lagging behind the rest of the world in another arena, instead let's do this right the first time.
So, don't just support universal health care. Support Single-Payer Health Care/Medicare For All.