|Do need commitment for national health care|
Letter to the Editor:
Every day, it seems, the noise level surrounding the launch of Obamacare in-creases in intensity. There is virtually no one who does not believe that the problem with the law’s website is nothing short of disastrous and threatens the viability of the entire project.
Add to that the controversy over the president’s repeated claims that those existing policies would not be inconvenienced and you have real problems with defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA).Defending the law, however, is not my primary reason for writing this letter. My aim here is to suggest that we need to place this discussion into some historical context and to remind ourselves why even an imperfect attempt at reforming a dysfunctional health-care system was, and remains, necessary.
For those who may not be aware, or have chosen to forget, the United States, as a nation, spends far more per person on health costs than any other modern country, while simultaneously denying the ability for tens of millions of its citizens to obtain proper care. In this country, if you have the right job, or are old enough, poor enough, or are a military veteran, the system may work well enough. Not so much if you are among the millions without insurance, or with coverage so inadequate and unreliable that bankruptcy is often the solution of choice when confronting unpayable medical bills.
I applaud the attempt this law makes at addressing these issues. I support the law’s goals of inclusiveness and of finding ways to lower overall costs, both as a nation and at the individual level. Certainly there is an urgent
need to reform a corrupt insurance industry that is exclusionary by design. And I?sincerely hope this effort at reform continues and succeeds.
But given the political realities of the day, and the fact that the ACA essentially attempts to graft itself upon the already existing system that has failed millions of citizens, I also have my doubts.
In the long run, I?belive the choice facing this nation will be to either insist upon keeping the privatized, for-profit insurance and delivery model, or join the rest of the world in a commitment to universal coverage and lower cost. In particular, we need to rid ourselves of the notion that somehow government-funded health care is a socialist threat to American values.
Only in the United States, it seems, is such a notion taken seriously, while others around the world have found a variety of ways to accomplish what we seemingly cannot. What is lacking here is the kind of national commitment that most others have been willing to make for generations.
Hopefully, the ACA will survive and lead the way to better choices in the future.
|Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1:03 PM|