Thursday, March 12, 2009

UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE: THE LIFE SAVED MAY BE YOUR OWN


BY CLEO E. BROWN

My brother Lance died in August of 2008. He was only forty-five years old. Although he was a Diabetic with a failing heart he did not have Health Insurance. The consequence of not having Health Insurance for Lance was that his basic need to remain healthy was not met. Eventually, therefore, after living in Phoenix, Arizona for two-and-a-half years without the benefit of appropriate medical care he dropped dead of a heart-attack one month shy of his forty-sixth birthday.


The issue of health care for me, therefore, has become a common sense matter which transcends party lines and affiliations. It does not matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or one of the other scores of political parties which now exist in The United States. A policy of Universal Health Care and Coverage for all citizens should be implemented and maintained for it is the responsibility of all governments to make sure that all of the basic needs of its citizens are being met.

On the opposite side of The Universal Health Care Coin are those people who do not support the implementation of a National Health Care Plan for our Nation’s Citizens. These “nay-sayers” maintain that Universal Health Coverage is Un-American because it is contrary to Democracy and is the hallmark of a Socialist Nation (socialized medicine). Similarly, there are those people who argue that Healthcare is the responsibility of the individual. These same people say that individuals, such as my brother Lance, are lazy, free-loaders looking for a Government hand-out. There is also the argument which states that a Universal Health Care Plan will tax Americans; Consequently taking hard-earned money out of the tax-payer’s pockets to pay for the costs of Universal Health Care.

The list of extremely weak, survival-of-the-fittest, pre-Progressive Era arguments continue:

Governments should not be involved in health care.
Health care is not a right.
Universal Healthcare is “Big Government”.
Universal Healthcare will create abuse with-in the health care profession.
Universal Healthcare will restrict our right to choose the physician of our choice.


And, finally, there are those people who do not support Universal Health Care because they claim that Doctors do not approve of and support Universal Health Care and Coverage.

To those people, therefore, who do not support Universal Health Care and Coverage as a basic need of man to survive and, ultimately, as a right of man and ,consequently, as a responsibility of Government, let me say that in a new study by Reuters, of more than two-thousand Doctors surveyed, over fifty-nine percent said that they now support the adoption by Government of a National Health Insurance Program. This is in contrast to a 2002 survey in which only forty-nine percent of Doctors supported the implementation of a National Health Care Program.

Similarly, although a Government-Subsidized Universal Health Care Program would take tax-dollars out of the pockets of hard-working United States Citizens, the tax dollars contributed would be absorbed into the lower costs of paying for both Health Care and Insurance Premiums. It has been noted that the costs of medical care are more expensive for people who are not regularly seen by a Physician. Combine this fact with the fact that many working people simply cannot afford the cost of Insurance! Also, twenty-four percent of the uninsured people of the United States are without Insurance because they have lost their jobs(Health Care Issues).There are currently over forty-seven million people in The United States without Health Insurance while forty million of this number are unable to access medical care when they need it (Health Care Issues). It does become clear that a Universal Government Subsidized Health Care Plan, including Insurance Coverage, would ultimately reduce costs for individual Americans.

Other features of a National Health Insurance Plan would include more control by Government over Physician Professional Codes-of-Ethics, and more government regulation of the Insurance Companies as well as the prices Insurance Companies charge for Insurance Premiums. In addition to this, there is the possibility that crime, as in England; The Netherlands; Germany; and France may decrease because substance abusers who are chemically dependant upon illegal street drugs for their survival may be able to obtain their daily drugs legally from a hospital or a medical clinic. These chemically-dependant people, therefore, who would otherwise spend their time devising ways to get the drug will be able to obtain their daily drugs legally from a hospital or a medical clinic. These people, therefore, who would otherwise spend their time devising ways to get the drug, will be able to seek and keep meaningful employment and not resort to a life of crime. This would also put illegal drug-traffickers (pushers and smugglers) out of business.

Finally, I would say to you in closing that Healthcare is the responsibility of a humane and caring government, which is concerned about meeting the basic needs of all of its citizens. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, The United States is the only wealthy industrialized Nation to fail to provide its citizens with National Health Insurance or Universal Health Care.


Consequently, Universal Health Care and Insurance is a right which all people in all advanced Nations should expect from its Government. Although the size of Government may expand to some degree, the health protected and, consequently, the lives saved as a result of this Government expansion are well worth the innovation. My brother’s life could have been spared if The United States had in place A Universal Health Care Plan. Similarly, Heidi Evans of The New York Daily News writes of the struggle of working people whose health dissipated because they were unable to afford to pay for the rising costs of medical care. A National Government Subsidized Health Care Program, therefore, is long overdue.


-Cleo Brown is a moderate Republican who works as an Instructor and as The Dean of Student Affairs in a GED Preparation Program in Chelsea. Cleo has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary African-American History from The University of California at Davis and has done work on a Ph.D. in Education at The University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. Cleo has also published several poems and is a featured artists in The International Poetry Library’s Who’s Who in Poetry.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this. Great article!!

GilbertJ said...

The Plan sounds good, but the incoming data from other civilized nations that are utilizing a universal system are showing serious flaws. Europe and Canada are great examples of the problems and given the people we've had running this country for years, I wouldn't rush to implement a similar system either.

Anonymous said...

When should the government open national commissaries for equal food rationing? Food is a more immediate nationwide necessity than health care, isn't it?

You sound like you are advocating government distribution of illicit drugs. I would reconsider that part of your argument.

I'm sorry about your brother. It is sad to hear. But there's got to be a more effective way to improve the health care system in our country, without resorting a government dominated system.

Shauna said...

Sicko is a good movie on this topic. I just watched it for the first time this past weekend. I learned that it's dangerous to live in the US. Just because you have healthcare doesn't mean your claim will be covered. Insurance companies control healthcare in the US. We are supposedly the richest nation but we have higher infant mortality rates and are lower life expectancies than contries with universal healthcare. Why is that? Picture this...in the UK, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, and the Prime Minister have the same exact access to healthcare as a regular UK citizen. Here in America, the President has better healthcare than any one of us. Having insurance doesn't guarantee medical treatment.

John Imrie said...

I just don't see how the government can set up a system that will be run as efficiently and effectively as the private sector

Jim Satterfield said...

The private sector currently has administrative overhead expenses 4 times higher than Medicaid or Medicare. What efficiency? They have people whose only jobs are to look for excuses to deny insurance payments to people who have paid into the system. The private sector has one motive and one motive only. That is profit. Enough profit to make Wall Street happy. That goal is mutually exclusive to cost effective health care. Wall Street's expectations of publicly held companies are just too high and so are the expectations of executives who want their 9 figure compensation packages. Capitalism just doesn't work for everything. It's like the old saying about if the only tool you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.

Bianca said...

Couldn't agree more with you Jim...

NewRepublican said...

Im just curious to know what Cleo Brown did for her brother. What did the family do? Did they reach out to their church for help? Neighbors? Friends?
Anyone offer him help? test strips? a gym membership? Anyone pay for the occasional Dr visit ($60)?

Zabeth said...

Queen Elizabeth and Price Charles are also much more likely to travel to the USA for medical treatment as opposed to seeking medical care in their native countries. Wealthy Canadians and Europeans often come to America and see American doctors for treatment because their health care systems aren't as efficient as you'd like to believe (and because they have the money to do so). That's the part of Sicko Michael Moore left out.