YoumaToday.com (LA), April 29, 2008
Daily Comet, (Lafourche Parish, LA), April 29, 2008
Presidential candidates condemn Americans for not providing health insurance to 47 million fellow citizens but the Washington Times carried an article by Sally Pipes, of the Pacific Research Institute, and presented facts that indicate political debaters try to unfairly paint us as evil, dispassionate and heartless Americans. The breakdown of the 47 million uninsured (figures vary widely) reveals that 10.2 million of these are illegal immigrants, about 14 million others are eligible for public health-care programs like Medicaid or SCHIP but have failed to enroll, and about 10 million are in households with incomes of more than $75,000 who could afford to buy their own health insurance and simply elect not to do so. Apparently, many are not legally entitled to it or others would rather spend their money on other things and let the government or someone else pay for their health-care needs. This leaves about 12.8 million uninsured. Certainly, that is still a significant number but is a far cry from the whopping figures that politicians quote to gain political favor.
Another facet of universal health care or socialized medicine is whether it should be mandated (forced) upon all citizens, even though nearly two-thirds of uninsured people are in the healthy age range of 18 to 34 years. So, why should they or the government be made to pay for something they are not likely to use and at the same premium cost as older, higher-risk citizens? These are complex questions requiring complex solutions. The single-payer model is a different system. Obviously, we want all of our citizens to have first-class health care, but we must also consider the $65 billion cost and increased taxes to cover it. Some ask, “Is it fair for an individual, who can afford his own health insurance, to instead go purchase a new boat, car or house and let his fellow citizens pick up the tab for his family’s healthcare?”
In the America that I love, we will continue to provide quality health care to all of our citizens via a private medical system. Granted, it is not perfect, but with any system that the government runs, I am leery of mismanagement of funds, squandering and waste of dollars, endless waiting lines and rampant inefficiency. I am reminded of this every time I go into a government-run entity and ask for help or assistance. Generally, few seemingly know anything and, even worse, fewer seem to care. Caring and competency must be priorities with our health-care system and seen as duties to our citizenry.
Dr. Randolph M. Howes