Better Healthcare Needed

While I’m conservative on many issues, when it comes to healthcare I’m a little more moderate. I have a social conscience and believe better healthcare coverage is needed for the thirty to forty million Americans who are without healthcare in this country. I take a middle of the road approach to healthcare. I disagree with both the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to healthcare.

On one side of the issue are the Republicans who are against the type of comprehensive healthcare found in Canada. The Republicans argue that having a comprehensive healthcare system like Canada would cost too much and raise taxes through the roof. They also argue that a comprehensive healthcare system is hard to administer and would be inefficient.

On the other side of the issue are the Democrats who argue that it should be a right to have healthcare and that a caring society takes care of its citizens. They argue that it’s horrible to have so many Americans who don’t have insurance coverage. They also argue that children are the innocent victims in the current healthcare climate.

The Republicans are correct when they say that a comprehensive healthcare system is expensive and would greatly increase taxes. That’s why I disagree with a comprehensive system but I’ll discuss this later. The Republicans fail to realize that no child or adult is refused healthcare in Canada. Canadians are also allowed to get preventative care. The preventative care for health issues like early liver disease are treated immediately and people don’t have to wait until they’re near death to receive emergency care. A condition that is left untreated could turn into a serious problem later.

I agree with the Democrats that a caring society should take care of its citizens. Children and adults without healthcare should be taken care of. I know too well the feeling of being laid off and being without healthcare. Yes we have COBRA available to us but it can cost anywhere from 500 to 1000 dollars per month. Who can afford that. In Minnesota where I live, if a person goes a certain period without healthcare insurance they become uninsurable. This is nonsense. Something must be done.

I advocate for an expanded healthcare system. The Government should provide basic insurance for those people who don’t have medical insurance. The majority of Americans have healthcare and I believe that corporate America would continue to provide healthcare insurance for their employees if the Government were to provide basic healthcare to people who don’t have medical insurance. The reason is that companies would want to attract talented employees. They would use their benefits to lure employees to their companies.

The federal government needs needs to provide coverage for those Americans who are laid off and are without insurance. It’s an unfair system when a person who is laid off (at no fault of their own) is left without healthcare coverage for themselves or their children. This is a heartless system. Why should the innocent children suffer? Expanding healthcare to these people is fair and just. The cost of expanding the system wouldn’t be nearly as expensive as a comprehensive system and America can afford this coverage.

Another solution to making the healthcare system better is to create legislation to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Something needs to be done to limit the amount of lawsuits and the crazy monetary awards that are being paid out to settle these claims. While doctors and healthcare providers should be held accountable for their mistakes, the monetary awards are burdening the system. The monetary awards are excessive and needless. If there was legislation to curtail the current trend of suing healthcare providers and receiving excessive monetary awards, healthcare would be more affordable and our rates wouldn’t continue to increase as much. I worked in the healthcare field and the amount of frivolous lawsuits and excessive monetary settlements are mind boggling. I also believe that people who bring about frivolous lawsuits should have to pay for all the legal costs of the people they’re suing and be made to pay punitive damages.

If the federal government were to create an expanded helthcare system and reduce the frivolous lawsuits and excessive settlements, the healthcare system would be better, more fair and would take care of those people who don’t have healthcare.

UPDATE ( June 9th, 2005 ruling by Supreme Court of Canada): “The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance in a decision that represents an acute blow to the publicly financed national health care system” (NYT.com, June 10th). In its ruling, The Supreme Court of Canada remarked that waiting lists for health services have become so long that they violated Quebec’s Charter of human Rights (NYT.com).

The court also mentioned that there is evidence that patients die or have died as a result of waiting for services (NYT.com)
Many Canadians argue that patients may wait for long periods of time to receive services but that life threatening health problems are taken care of. The court’s comments seem to contradict that type of argument.
It is expected that their will be lawsuits against other provinces which ban private billing of health services.

According to the New York Times article, Canada is the only industrialized nation that “outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services” (NYT.com).

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