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March 24, 2008

Healthcare Or Warfare: It's time to Choose

By David Swanson

The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is, by no coincidence, also the wealthiest nation in the world that does not provide its people with health coverage. About one in six Americans has no health coverage at all, and another two or three out of those six lack adequate coverage even though they pay more than enough to receive it and to provide it to those who lack it as well.

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The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is, by no coincidence, also the wealthiest nation in the world that does not provide its people with health coverage.  About one in six Americans has no health coverage at all, and another two or three out of those six lack adequate coverage even though they pay more than enough to receive it and to provide it to those who lack it as well.

Millions of Americans, consequently, lack preventive health care, are deeply in debt for the expenses of emergency treatment, are forced to work longer hours to provide health coverage to themselves and their families, and suffer unnecessary illnesses and deaths.  One result of this is that Americans have less time and freedom and energy to invest in civic life, including in peace demonstrations and lobbying of elected officials.  If we had universal health care, we would be in a much better position to demand universal heath care.  Isn't that how it always seems to go?

Now, our government is funded and heavily lobbied by the oil barons and weapons makers and disaster capitalists - the corporations who destroy and then pretend to rebuild.  We dump at least half of every tax dollar into these immoral expenses.  In fact, we spend as much on our military as do the rest of the nations of the world combined, and we call those expenses "defense" although they are used entirely for offensive wars, bombing missions, and the maintenance of a thousand military bases in other people's countries.

To contrast this gluttonous expense with our health care disaster can be misleading if taken to imply that the money should be moved from killing to saving.  The fact is that, as a society if not as a government, we already spend enough on health to provide universal coverage and have money left over.  But we don't use our government to create efficiencies.  Instead as much as a third of every dollar goes into waste and bureaucracy and advertising for the private insurance industry.  Eliminating those middlemen and simply providing everyone with health care, to be paid for by the government, would eliminate 90 percent of the paperwork.  The health coverage would be public - as it should be.  The health care would still be private.  You choose any private doctor you want, just leave with no paperwork, including no bill.  If this sounds too good to be true, remember that every other wealthy nation on earth already does this and gets more health care for less money than we do.

So ask your representative in Congress to sign onto H R 676 and visit:



Submitters Website: http://davidswanson.org

Submitters Bio:
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org

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