Health Care

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Wed 9:45pm
After the last health care plan drafted by now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which ultimately failed due to stark opposition by the insurance companies, no significant attempt has been made to extend quality health care coverage to all Americans. In 2007 46 million Americans had no health insurance (I don’t know the exact figure for today but it is definitely more). The current health care system is broken and surely not sustainable. Even those who are insured face the difficulty either of paying the rising medical bills or getting adequate coverage.
The increasing problem that our health care system is carrying with itself are the sky-rocketing costs of health care. We spend 17 per cent of our GDP towards health care with a bad service for the American people in return. "Since 2001, premiums for family health coverage have increased 78 percent, according to a 2007 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Premiums averaged $12,106, of which workers paid $3,281." (Washington Post) People have to contain their lifestyle to afford medical drugs. Now, there are several explanations that, I think, all of whom play their part to contribute to rising costs. One, new technologies enable people to get better treatments that cost a lot more. Two, a widely dispersed health care system naturally creates inequalities. Many profit-oriented health insurances try to accept only those patients that cause least costs. This is seen by the pre-existing conditions (a term I have never heard of in Austria with government run health care). The burden of costs under the current system is not fairly shared. Many healthy, rich people do not want to be in the same boat or inusrance as poor, sick ones. They are most likely left behind and rely on governmental help, meaning that they have to live on the taxpayers dime. Three, I quote, "Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud." (NCHC)
So, if government decides to take over more responsibility and establish affordable health care while efficiently cutting costs, we can eliminate the number of uninsured and end the health care crisis. Many conservatives suggest, however, that a mandatory health care system will limit choices for American people. Clearly, I do not know about what they are talking about. When employers cannot cover people’s health insurance, and more financial burden is placed on the employees whose paycheck raise cannot compensate the increase in health care costs, they can hardly afford any health insurance plan. Health care is evidently not a negotiable good that is dispensable. Yet, the free market is unable to offer decent health care plans with decent costs. I say that because conservatives suggest that a free market economy is best for the people, because the more competitors the less the price, but that is not the case. We have a serious health care crisis, but conservatives remain ideologically rigid in this issue that already has harmed so many people.
My statement at the beginning of the note is not completely true. There is a serious effort going on that tries to insure more people that can primarily be achieved by cutting health care costs. I believe that Obama is determined in doing that. When relief can be made people can afford health insurance that best fits to them. But simultaneously the hazardous uncertainty of many American people has to be ended. When another crisis occurs some time in the future, because medical treatment expands due to many Americans becoming older, people have to rely on an alternative to private insurances that cannot be provided by the free market, because the private health insurances logically have to save themselves, what does not apply to government.
If government increases expenditure it has to be financed, but how? Obama’s approach to involve wealthy people is a reasonable one. Eventually also middle-class people have to contribute more (which shoud not be a prooblem, because their medical bills will largely be eliminated. Given the current costs the "health care tax" will be a bargain) Furthermore, we need immigrants that can be harnessed to work for the people to afford programs. But this is another issue. Doctors also advise people to live healthier. (for me this is particularly tough) That will cut costs.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml
http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/23/AR2008032301770.html
A remarkable documentary screened by Michael Moore "Sicko"
http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/index.html

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