Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weighing In On The Health Care Debate

There was a letter to the editors in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader (Jan. 27, 2010) that I am sure that many Americans can agree with, yet shows just how misguided the debate has become on the whole health care issue.

To begin with, he states:
I do not support government-run health care. It is just another way for the government to take control over our lives.
The issue here is not the one of government supplied health care but of a government funded insurance in order to pay for the health care that he already receives. Currently, my insurance company can deny certain medical procedures or just not cover them under the policy I have in place. I would assume that his situation is similar. I can choose any doctor I want to treat me as can he and my insurance may pay for it as his may as well. The problem comes when my insurance will pay and his will not, for the same procedure. At that point there is unequal health care in America. A single payer, government funded, universal insurance coverage would eliminate that. The government control would then be over the insurance companies and their regulation on profit margins and services, not the individual health care receiver.

All health care in America is regulated by the government in some manner. Which procedures are allowed and which ones are not. Which drugs are allowed and which are not. That is a function that we have ceded to the Federal government many years ago.

And, whether he wants to believe it or not, he does support a government-run health care of which he probably does not participate in yet expects to be there. Every county in America and all cities have a Public Health Department which is funded by taxpayer dollars.

He continues:
This is supposed to be America, the land of the free, not a socialized country. I hope to live to be a ripe old age, and many Americans are doing it now because of our health care.
This is America, a land very free of the idea of socialization. America is the land of “rugged individualism”. The American dream is to make ones way through life without any help.

Socialism is derived from the word social and the adjective “social” is defined as: a) Living together in communities. b) Of or relating to communal living. c) Of or relating to human society and its modes of organization. d) Inclined to seek out or enjoy the company of others. e) Spent in or marked by friendly relations or companionship. and f) Intended for convivial activities.

I can see where we, as Americans, would want to disassociate ourselves from a socialist country and social ideals. They stand in the way of our personal agendas, our God given rights to do things as we see fit. Here is to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially the pursuit of happiness.

I also hope to live to an old age along with these many Americans, but the United States ranks 50th out of 223 of the world’s countries according to the United Nations, so the odds are not good. That means that there are 49 countries with higher life expectancies than we and the majority of them have a socialized health care system. America also has one of the highest per capita costs for health care in relation to the life expectancy attained. Americans are not living longer because of our health care but in spite of it.

In terms of his control of his life he says:
I absolutely don't want the federal government deciding what medical care I am allowed to have. I will not vote for any politician who supports this health-care plan, which is simply socialized medicine
A board already decides what coverage he gets- the board of directors of his insurance company, an unaccountable group of men who profit every time a person like him is denied treatment. It is the insurance companies that he is allowing to limit that care, at his request. He is free to withhold his vote from whomever he chooses, but the idea of socialized medicine-which works for many in other civilized countries elsewhere- is not all bad. The hope for equal quality of health care for all Americans at an equal and lower cost than presently seen has existed since the Declaration of Independence and even earlier. Does “one for all and all for one” mean anything anymore?

In conclusion, he writes:
I also understand that this bill really doesn't have any effect on politicians, because they would be exempt and they have their own medical coverage.
This proposed bill does not affect the politicians. They are exempt. They and the military veterans. The medical coverage of which they may partake is a single payer, government-run health care system which they voted for themselves and many wish to deny to the rest of the country. They have socialized health care for their social strata and will not let it filter down.

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