The Debate Over Healthcare

I have to say that I find the discussion on health care in the US to be really strange.  The argument by the conservative wing of the Democratic party and the Republicans almost lacks logic.

They complain that “the government” will make decisions on your health care.  About what care you will and won’t receive based on what is affordable or other factors.  And they really are getting up in arms about it.  However, we seem to gloss over the fact that HMOs today control most of the decisions about your health care.  They already do tell you what care you can receive based on what is affordable or other factors.  And that factor is The Profit Motive.  So I need someone to explain to me why on earth it is okay for HMOs to tell us what medical care we can and can’t have, compared to research and analysis from the government.  At least the government doesn’t have the profit motive guiding it.  Conceptually, the government would have public health as the overriding concern.

For most of the Western countries where a government plays a role in healthcare it is mostly a constructive one.  In places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Sweden, most of the populations doesn’t worry about general health conditions as they can go to a doctor without worry.  Now of course, there are situations where they are exceptions…the horror stories that prove the exception instead of the rule.  However, as a general rule, the general care is very good.  And with frequent general care, you can minimse the likelihood that you need specialist care.

Like the US justice system, we have the best health care system money can buy…for those who can afford it.

I think more important than whether the plan is a democratic or republican plan, is that if the focus is on the public health and the public good, then universal health coverage for all Americans is possible.  If healthy corporate profits is more important than public health, then of course universal health care is outside of our reach.

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