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 careand 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.
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 … more
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 … more
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. … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 amazon.com. 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