Letter: Medicare model – Charleston Post Courier
Are we going to keep competing for the title of the most clueless nation on the planet, or can we muster the courage to deal with the truth about health care? Tom Price, the Cabinet secretary who runs Health and Human Services, reminds me of “Poor Johnny One Note” made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. He contends Americans demand choice.
Between the ages of 55 and 65 my wife and I experienced a variety of illnesses that two healthy people would not have predicted. We also moved to a new home where we had no idea about the relative qualifications of doctors in the neighborhood. If we had lacked job-supported health care, our finances could have become a disaster.
Does anyone have the time to research when the doctor he chooses will retire? Can he predict the relative quality of nearby hospitals?
Health care decisions are so complex and health care industry personnel so rapidly changing that almost no one is in a good position to make wise choices.
If you are 64 years and 364 days old when a crisis occurs, you are at the mercy of a health care plan that may or may not be right for this illness. But if you delay your illness one day, you will be treated by Medicare, a universal system for seniors that is praised by most users.
So if Medicare is such a great system, and it truly is, why is it not the model for health care for those under 65?
A vast fortune has been spent making the term “single payer” an epithet. Instead of examining its pros and cons, we buy into propaganda.
Further, a single-payer system supported by legislation targeting universal health care could hurt the pharmaceutical and health care industries’ bottom lines. More importantly, it might decrease contributions to politicians who embrace industry legislation.
Some countries take the position that the wealth of a nation belongs to all of its citizens and that reasonable public policy must reflect that principle.
We can have great and affordable health care if we tax the people who have so much money that it is unspendable. Or we can continue down our current path of failure and political posturing by insisting on the truth of lies paid for by those who oppose health care as a human right.