Thursday, September 10, 2009

Health Reform American Style

Yesterday, American President Barak Obama spoke to Congress, trying to sway them towards his vision of universal and accessible healthcare.

There’s no question about it, American’s want a better healthcare system – but the debate how to improve the system is hotly contested on all fronts.

Many worry that given government’s long, slow, expensive miss-handling of many other programs, the federal government should be the last organization running the healthcare system. They claim taxes will go up, and the healthcare system won’t be any better off than it was prior to the reforms.

This particular viewpoint – held by some politicians and special interest g

Speaker Pelosi on Health Care Reform and Medic...Image by Speaker Pelosi via Flickr

roups – claim insurance companies should be given the ability to make changes, so that they can cover more people.

WAIT A SEC . . .

Insurance companies – HMOs? Isn’t the primary reason President Obama launched his universal medicare plans to clean up the mess caused by the big and all powerful insurance industry?

Insurance companies are in the business of staying in business, so they have been known to research and devise plans and programs which intentionally turn down medical claims – even if it means costing lives.

You don’t have to take my word on it – such cases have been documented on American investigative news shows including 60 Minutes and 20-20, just to name a few.

The truth of the matter, granting insurance companies greater powers won’t increase medical coverage to all, it will most likely limit it further, as the big insurers find even more ways to say “no” to the increased medical claims.

Governments may not always run perfectly – correction, they never run perfectly. No one is perfect, and ipso facto, nothing we human beings touch will ever be perfect.

But, governments, unlike big business, are not out to make a profit. If that were the case, the American War on Terror would probably have been sponsored by a slew of American companies.

Could you imagine the advertising?

This air strike is brought to by Johnson & Johnson, a family company.

WASHINGTON - MAY 11:  U.S. President Barack Ob...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Kidding aside, governments do a fine job running healthcare in other countries.
Here in Canada, we’ve had universal, government-run healthcare for as long as I can remember. It isn’t perfect, but it works.

Other governments around the world manage the healthcare systems for their citizens, ensuring a better quality of life, as medical expenses don’t keep people from doing what is necessary to stay healthy.

Insurance companies are not evil entities, but they are the wrong choice to manage a healthcare system. That’s a direct conflict of interest – as the whole basis for insurance is the masses pay into it, while few actually need it.

In order for healthcare to be truly universal, the organization running it can’t have a vested interest in denying coverage to those who need it. That’s just going to create an even bigger mess in the American healthcare system.

Governments need not be perfect, but they do need to run a national healthcare system, if that healthcare system is to really be by the people, and for the people.

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