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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Liberty and Justice but no Health Care

(The following posting was written by an anonymous writer responding to a USA Today article on the 47 million people in the U.S. that have no health insurance. The author makes a very potent case for universal health care.

Currently only Massachusetts and Hawaii provide a framework for every citizen to receive regular health care through affordable health insurance. The rest of the uninsured get no regular check-ups and resort to emergency room care only in dire situations. If the major health insurance providers enjoy watching people die from easily preventable causes they will continue to do nothing until actions are imposed upon them.)
The Mall and Washington Monument 13466
Having health insurance is one small step in the right direction. Having health insurance DOES NOT mean a person is getting proper health care. With all the restrictions - deductibles, pre-authorizations, limits, in-network/out-of-network, below market payments to doctors, etc - insurance companies squeeze access to care to the bare minimum or worse.

The insurance industry inflates the cost of our healthcare. Look at the labor hours/dollars spent creating, processing, and disputing claims - it's horrendous.

This system also unfairly penalizes the uninsured. Because insurance company payouts are so low, health care providers inflate the rates to the uninsured to balance their profits. The least able are saddled with the greatest share of the costs. That’s just wrong.

There is a fundamental flaw in the logic of health insurance. Companies are in business to make a profit - by nature business is always looking for ways to cut expenses (ie. claims). There are a few areas in society where the people are not served by for profit businesses, and health care is one.

For me, the question’s not, “is health care a right?” The question is, “how can we not take control of our national health care?” Right now, it’s controlling us.

We are all paying for health care one way or another - taxes, insurance premium hikes, etc. - and it's going to get worse with our aging population. And health care often controls our personal decisions can I look at another job, or moving, etc.

I'm a for profit business owner who earns a great living in a capitalist economy. There is also a role for government in society. Government run health care system wouldn’t be perfect, but it COULD be a huge improvement over the broken mess we have now.

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