In response to an article on universal health care at Op-Ed News, someone flippantly responded about the writer's call for free health care for Americans. In support of the original writer's call, I answer.
Of course nothing is free, so the question the responder asked is not worth much. The right question is: how do we pay to provide health care to all Americans? And for that question there is an unequivocal answer--through a single-payer, doctor/patient, publically financed and privately run health care system. There is a house resolution already in the House for it. It is sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, and its number is H.R. 676. It has 88 co-sponsors at last count.Now, why is a single-payer system the most humane and cost effective way to run a health care system? That should be your next question. And the answer is that we do not need our present non-system run by the insurance companies that siphon off 31% of all health care costs due to a profit driven system that is inefficient, and where decision making is made on shareholder profit. In short, it is made by run amok greed.Insurance companies do nothing for health care. They operate at 15 to 30% overhead, the cost going to advertisement, bureaucracy, shareholder profit, exorbitant CEO pay and staff pay, not to mention the cost of doctors having to pay a team of people to find their way through the maze of payment, due to the over 1500 insurance plans, all different and all bent on offering the least amount of care to maximize profit.A single-payer system, such as our Medicare system, operates at about 3% overhead, and the savings alone could make it so the 47 million uninsured could have healthcare--healthcare with no deductible, no co-pays, no being denied due to pre-existing conditions, nobody out, everybody in. At present, the moneyed interests want to get their hands on Medicare, much like they are trying to do to with Social Security. In the process they are trying to destroy it, make it less efficient and under-funded so they can get their hooks into the pie, and in the end eat the whole pie. Sure, some will have to pay taxes for this system. But if anyone thinks that they are not paying now, and paying high prices for lousy plans with high copays and dedcutibles, they better wake up.I have great insurance, but being one concerned about the health and welfare of all people in this nation, I say enough is enough with corporate greed and its sucking the system dry for the profit for the few.This isn't socialized medicine. You can choose your own doctor, and you can get the care you need, and you can get preventative care, which will drive costs down. It will also drive costs down since the pool is large, and the system can be run with oversight and accountability, two things you do not now have. For example, the system can determine how many mamogram machines are needed for the polulace, and we won't have hospitals raising costs to have all the gizmos so that they can compete with the hospital down the street. Also, since all are insured, the presently uninsured will not have to go to the emergency room, a costly thing for hospitals, to get care. H.R. 676 represents the best hope for America's health care. The only thing we need to change first are the ignorant people who have been told that helping one another and deciding as a people how to best serve people is a bad thing. I tend to think that is what true democracy is all about. And what we need, always, is more democracy. Not less. And especially not less so that those with the power control the system to serve their ever-expanding, greedy interests.Ask the right questions with intelligence, and you get the right answers. Lobby your congress person today to co-sign H.R. 676 if they are not already on. Also, help educate people and quit buying into the talking points and misleading statements and ideas put out by the right-wing think tanks that get paid to keep the people no more than sheeple.In Solidarity,Mike Carano
Ohio PDA State Coordinator