Washington has been abuzz with talk of stimulus, bipartisanship and Wall Street accountability. Make no mistake, these are all very important issues and the economy needs to be attended to, but I can’t help but wonder why the only health-care related story we hear about these days is the tax problems of Tom Daschle (Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary nominee). Health-care reform NEEDS to be at the forefront of the national conversation. With so many workers facing unemployment our already precarious health-care situation has become even more dire.
Americans have needed to reform our system for a long time. There is a reason that every other “first-world” country has some sort of socialized medicine policy in place: it is the only system that has a chance at success. How can a country based on equality stand behind a health-care system in which profits are the end goal and medical insurance is tied to the workplace?? This isn’t to say that Canada, the UK and the various other countries subscribing to some form of socialized medicine are perfect – they’re not – but all the citizens of said countries have equal access to care.
There are caveats to any system, but there is no denying that our system is broken. The average person without health-care has to undertake great risk just to live their day to day lives. Even those who are insured often face extensive out of pocket costs and co-pays, and I know from personal experience that ‘approval’ for access to proper care is often hard to come by.
It’s great that we are so focused on rehabilitating our economy and securing more jobs for Americans. The billions we are investing into the country will hopefully bring forth ample returns. At this point, if we are going to sink so much money into the resurrection of the nation, why not spend the extra so that once and for all we get the ball rolling on a health-care system that works.