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Health Care

A government program designed to cover all residents of a political region.

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Just a minute Mr. President.

  • Jul 17, 2009
  • by
With all due respect Sir,  I firmly believe that this time the American people should hold your feet to the fire.  During your campaign for President you made a number of promises to us.  First and foremost your promised transparency.  The days of backroom deals would be over.  Bills would be posted on the White House website for at least five days so that the general public would have an opportunity scrutinize them.  There would be no earmarks.  Your election would usher in a new era of openness and honesty in government.  Sad to say it has not worked out that way.

Just the other day I read in the newspaper that your administration intends to pass universal health care by the end of August.  The bill that you are proposing is 1,018 pages long!  Thoughtful people agree that reforms are needed in our health care system.  Still, while certainly far from perfect the United States offers the finest health care on the planet.  The sweeping changes you endorse would affect every man, woman and child in this country.  The American people should know for instance that on page 16 of your bill it states that on the date this legislation becomes effective the sale and purchase of private health insurance would be illegal.  Furthermore, it will be bureaucrats in Washington who will determine when you can see a doctor, which doctor you can see, and whether or not you can have the necessary treatment for your affliction.  The truth is that universal health care is rationed health care and the American people need to understand this.

The very idea of ramming through such monumentally important legislation in just six weeks time is patently irresponsible.  But this would not be the first time that your administration and your compadres in the Congress have employed this strategy.  You are playing with our health and with the lives of ourselves and our children!   It would appear to me that you are unwilling to allow open debate or an honest review of potential amendments to your plan.  Why is that?   Although I have grave doubts about the proposal you have on the table I would like to hear the plan debated in the halls of Congress.  It is always important to be exposed to both sides of the argument and to know who is for and who is against any proposal.   If after a period of considered debate in Congress and a serious national discussion by the American people universal health care is ultimately  passed and enacted I might not be happy but I would have to accept it.  That is the American way!   Having said that I think it is fair to say that the American people should insist that members of Congress and their immediate families be required to participate in any new government run program.   Perhaps our esteemed representatives, who so often choose to exempt themselves from the laws they foist on everyone else, would be just a tad more thoughtful in their deliberations if this were the case. 

Take a look at this bill and decide for yourself
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September 03, 2009
Anyone interested in this issue should check out Nicolas Kristof's column in The Newe York Times today (September 3) at Called "Health Care That Works," the piece points out that the two areas of the US health care system which get good marks for user satisfication, health outcomes and cost-effectiveness are those run by government: Mediciare and the Veterans' Administration program.
July 21, 2009
This is a well written and passionate review. Regardless of what anyone thinks about what the bill has to say, it is too large a piece of legislation that make too many fundamental changes to be rammed through with an August deadline. I just read an interview with ABC's Stephanopoulos that says the votes aren't there for the August deadline, so hopefully this bill will go through a more thorough process.
July 21, 2009
"The very idea of ramming through such monumentally important legislation in just six weeks time is patently irresponsible." That's it in nutshell... Medicare took almost two years to fully flesh out and the speed readers in the Democratic Caucus want to ram it home before the facts catch up with the timing... I don't care where you stand on the issue, this is no way to act responsibly. M
July 20, 2009
If you'd like to tell us where this is posted we could all check it out for ourselves. Until we can do so, all we have is your unsubstantiated claim that this is in fact true. I'd like to see what's on page 16 for myself.
July 21, 2009
Don't believe this bill has been made available to the general public. However, a number of news organizations have obtained a copy of this bill. The citing that I referred to on page 16 has been confirmed by a number of sources. Go to:
July 21, 2009
Thanks. Its always nice to be able to read the material for yourself, or at least to read a section of the material even if taking it out of context can change its entire meaning.
July 21, 2009
Oops, it was just another op-ed without so much as a quote from the source material to back up its assertions. I'm going to need something a bit stronger than that before I start screaming "Fire!"
July 20, 2009
The time to comment on proposed legislation is before it passed by Congress and signed by the President. In this case the intention is to pass a bill within 6 weeks leaving very little time for expert testimony, open debate in Congress and public comment. This issue is much too complex and important to ram through so quickly. And yes, reform is needed but in order for that to take place everyone is going to have to give a little.
July 19, 2009
Where is this posted? I'd like to check out page 16 for myself and see if what you have said is in fact true.
July 17, 2009
While I love your finely written review, I have to disagree with a lot of things.  Universal Health Care doesn't actually mean the governement is putting some jerk in the way to decide if you get care or not.  I understand the argument with Healthcare, and I understand the sensitivity, but at times we do need to do a lot better.  We're not even ranked top 10 in Healthcare.  The finest hospitals in the world aren't even in the United States.

About two years ago I had to go to the hospital for an auto-immune disease.  The first thing they asked me wasn't "What's wrong?"  My hands were blue, my breathing was unusual, my entire body was swollen, and they couldn't find a pulse when they checked for it (I was concious, but I was so swollen up it was hard to get through).  In spite of all this, in spite of an obvious problem that was literally standing right in front of them, I not only had to wait for EIGHT hours before they could put me in a hospital room, but they refused to do so until I provided proof of insurance.  And after I did THAT I had to wait for them to make sure my insurance would cover it.  I went into the hospital around 3 PM and wasn't even able to be fully taken care of until... 2 AM.

Now put on top of that, I had blood clots in my lungs along with this disease (it causes them--it's called Minimal Change Disease).  They told me that I could've died within the next 6 months if I hadn't gotten to the hospital.  Well, if that's true, I don't want to think about what could've happened had I not had insurance.  And even then, if my insurance wasn't "good enough" they could've kicked me out at any time.  

Now the big huge part.  Two weeks in the hospital... with insurance the bill couldn't have been that bad, right?  Well... no.  It cost well over $65,000 dollars.  The average household doesn't even make that much in a year. 

I'd rather have healthcare reform than go through that (again, I had to wait eight hours... just to get admitted, and then I had to wait DAYS for them to find out what was wrong with me).  And despite being out of the hospital, I have to go back in every two weeks because there's the slight chance that it could come back.  So I'm the hole with doctors for a long time.

July 20, 2009
Remember, I didn't say "Let's have universal heathcare," all I said was, I'd rather see reform than wait eight hours to get settled into a hospital with my insurance being the deciding factor of whether or not I get to do so.

Also, I actually know a few people in Canada and England.  When I asked them about it, they were actually amused at all the hubbub over the wait times.  The longest my friend in England had to wait to see a Doctor was thirty minutes.  My friend in Canada did say she had to wait a little longer, but I've yet to talk to anyone from England or Canada who had to wait days to get treated.  So some of those wait time explanations could actually be a little overstated... or there could actually be fewer examples of this than we actually know.  But when talking to my Canadian and English friends... it seems that there are still some things we don't fully understand about these countries healthcare system.  One thing all of them DID say however, was that it was nice to know you'll get treated for anything when you walk in.  And actually, from what I've seen in all my doctors visits... so are many Americans waiting as well.  It seems like you'll have to wait much of the time, it's just a matter of how long.  There were people who had to wait longer when I was in the E.R..  But it isn't all bad, because if they see you bleeding near death they actually will take you immediately, which is nice.  So America's healthcare isn't bad.  When you get treated, you get treated, and it's fabulous.  The doctor's are really nice people, when you stay in the hospital they do everything to make sure you're accomodated for and make sure you're comfortable.  The problem is getting to that point.  You could be stopped because you don't have insurance or because your insurance just doesn't cover your condition.  Health Insurance sometimes feels more like a "medical coupon," than anything else. 

If it isn't universal healthcare, There needs to be something done to at least make it more affordable.  I don't like the idea that my insurance company has as big a stock in whether or not I get treated as they do.  And I REALLY don't like that my doctor decided that he had to see if I had insurance and whether or not it was "good enough" before he even started treatment.  So yes, some kind of reform is in order.

America's healthcare system is certainly not horrible.  It's mostly just the health insurance issue that floors me.  Even with coverage, getting the care that's needed can still be tough.  But financially it can be incredibly draining on a lot of people.  So no, not exactly universal healthcare, but perhaps reform is in order.  At least to make it more affordable and to keep people from getting kicked out just because they don't have insurance or what have you.  I'm willing to go through reform.  Even if it isn't universal healthcare or anything like that, affordability would be nice.
July 17, 2009
I'll have to do some more research but, I did want to note one disagreement I have- the United States most definitely does NOT have one of the finest health care systems on the planet. If they did, we'd all be able to feel free to go to doctors and know that they have our health as a priority instead of the checks they get from pharmaceutical companies. Everyone would be able to afford decent health care and hospitals wouldn't dump people in hospital gowns on the side of the road in the middle of the worst neighborhood just because they couldn't pay up. If we can go nearly anywhere else and have round-the-clock care with specialists at a reasonable price, if any cost at all, than maybe I'd agree with you. I do thank you for your well-written, intelligent review because this is a sensitive issue which affects me personally and your piece brought up a lot of great points that I can't wait to look into...but, darn typical over a thousand pages! I don't necessarily agree with that one point but, I completely agree with you that the American people should take agreater interest in what our politicians are doing behind closed doors- if not for themselves, than for their children.
More Universal Health Care reviews
review by . September 11, 2009
Conceptually, I'm in favor in providing health care to everyone, however I'm also concerned about the costs associated with such a universal benefit.  As part of the cost benefit analysis i started thinking about some new social pressure it could create.  Here's what i mean.        We know that living a certain way creates a higher likelyhood that you will be healthy.  For example, if you don't smoke and aren't obese the odds are that you will live longer/healthier …
review by . August 08, 2009
Last night we had dinner with our daughter Elin and her partner Emmanuel: she's just back from teaching at a week-long shindig in Chicago for viola da gamba players.  One of the stories she told concerned a fellow gambist from Canada who was recently diagnosed with a leukemia-like disease and who underwent some cutting-edge treatment this spring in Ontario.        He was diagnosed and treated in his home city in a timely fashion and is doing well, it seems.  But …
review by . January 23, 2010
Universal Health Care Debate in this country...
One of the biggest concerns in this country to date is the health care reform and universal health care.  Why do countries like Canada, England and Sweden have it AND why do we have millons of Americans who are uninsured and underinsured?  These people make such difficult choices as whether to go to a doctor and pay for medicine when sick or buy food, pay utilities, etc.   In a country as wealthy and powerful as ours,  this should have to be an issue at hand.   …
review by . July 17, 2009
 I am a 65 yr old anesthesiologist/physician-a medical doctor on Medicare and this subject of health care is so complex. Do we have the finest medical care in the world? Not by outcome measurement. Do we have the fattest, laziest, sickest population in the world? Do we spend too much on end-of-life care (money down the drain)? Do we spend too much for insurance company profit? Does everybody want the finest care, the finest physicians, no waiting, nurses on call and somebody else to pay for …
review by . October 16, 2009
I don't know why people are against a single payer health care.  This country needs some form of basic health care coverage for it's population.  The argument I always hear is taxes.  You have these plants in some of these town hall meeting jumping up and down about saying "We pay enough taxes, we don't want to go in debt."  Where were these same people when we threw away billions upon billions of dollars at Bush Jr.s War in Iraq?  Do they care that we have spent …
Quick Tip by . August 22, 2009
Here's some common sense:
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
Nooooo! Don't do it! Taxes will increase to make up the ever increasing deficit. DEBT KILLS
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
A much worthier place to spend money than dumping trillions into black hole, incompetent banks, but sadly, I doubt the gov can pull it off
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
IMHO, universal health care is a right, like free speech and public education. I would like to see universal, affordable health care.
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
Its gonna be a huge waste of money, but its better than the way they'll eventually blow our tax dollars. Lesser of 2 evils.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #6
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on I never could … more
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Universal health care is health care coverage for all eligible residents of a political region and often covers medical, dental and mental health care. These programs vary in their structure and funding mechanisms. Typically, most costs are met via a single-payer health care system or national health insurance, or else by compulsory regulated pluralist insurance (public, private or mutual) meeting certain regulated standards. Universal health care is implemented in all but one of the wealthy, industrialized countries, with the exception being the United States. It is also provided in many developing countries and is the trend worldwide.

Universal health care is a broad concept that has been implemented in several ways. The common denominator for all such programs is some form of government action aimed at extending access to health care as widely as possible and setting minimum standards. Most implement universal health care through legislation, regulation and taxation. Legislation and regulation direct what care must be provided, to whom, and on what basis. Usually some costs are borne by the patient at the time of consumption but the bulk of costs come from a combination of compulsory insurance and tax revenues. Some programs are paid for entirely out of tax revenues. In some cases, government involvement also includes directly managing the health care system, but many countries use mixed public-private systems to deliver universal health care

The United States is the ...

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