Stace Tackaberry: Had enough on health care
As Popeye used to say, “I can’t stands no more.” I have read a number of Dr. Richard Nishman’s long letters regarding our health care problems (which he clearly doesn’t think we have or I feel certain he would have contributed a solution rather than just beating on everyone else’s). So, I will respond to a couple of his points in his latest missive …
Of course folks in the U.K and other countries which have a “single-payer” system shoulder an additional tax burden to cover the cost of insuring that all have access to decent health care. However, when one considers the extraordinarily high cost for the treatment of uninsured Americans using the very expensive hospital emergency rooms for their health care (a cost passed on to the rest of us), then I truly wonder if there is much of a difference, if any, in the final overall cost.
Dr. Nishman’s comment that in “Canada private care is essentially illegal.” I have no idea how he arrives at this conclusion. According to a 2006 report by CBC (Canada’s largest news organization) in 2005, $43.2 billion was spent on private health care in 2005. Hardly “illegal!” Oh by the way, according to the same report the Canadian government spent $4,411 per ca-pita on health care in 2005 and this compares with $7,110 per ca-pita (according to a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study) in the U.S for the same year.
Somehow Dr. Nishman compares a monthly car payment to a monthly health insurance payment. A car payment or even having a car is not a necessity of life, health care is. An apples and avocados comparison, I think.
Further, Social Security is not close to bankruptcy, as Dr. Nishman states. It does need a fix, but that is mostly due to high numbers of baby-boomers coming into the system and a declining population of those paying into the system. Dr. Nishman further comments that the Veterans Administration health care is pretty poor. Perhaps he would be good enough to provide documentation of this statement. According to a 2006 Rand Corporation (hardly a liberal organization) the VA provides 18 percent better care than does the private, for-profit insurance system with which we are currently burdened.
Dr. Nishman finds fault with “hand(ing) over our health to the government.” I reckon he feels that we have handed over our health to a for-profit insurance company is somehow better.
Finally, it would be refreshing for those of Dr. Nishman’s ilk to provide an alternative solution for fixing our clearly broken system which would provide the 15 percent of the uninsured American population access to decent, reasonably priced health care.
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