Health care for who?

Subject: Health care for who?
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 10:08:13 EDT

Following up on Kim T.'s (RoseRead -at- AOL -dot- COM) article:

Last year I helped organize a panel held by my local League of Women Voters
organization as part of the national "Citizen's Voice for Citizen's Choice"
series on health care reform. Our presentation was a two part, half day
meeting. The first half of the program featured three speakers who talked about
how the health care business works today and what programs were then before the
Congress. The second half featured three of our local Congressmen who gave
their views on health care reform.

During my preparation and follow up work for that project, I talked to a lot of
people both inside and outside the health care field. Many of these people had
been very effectively frightened by the terror campaign waged by the Republican
party and the extraordinarily well-paid health care lobbying machine.

What frightened me was how little real information these same people had.
Almost no one had any idea how deeply entangled the government already is in
health care. Nor did they realize how much the govt does to subsidize the
"private" health care industry. While the public ads campaigned for the free
enterprise solution to health care reform, privately most of the people on the
inside admitted that there is no such thing now, and nobody in the industry
wants the govt out.

I didn't like Clinton's plan myself. I felt that it was an unwieldly attempt at
compromise between national health insurance and the status quo. I also think
that the development of the plan was poorly handled. But anyone who believes
the slogans flung about by the plan's opponents probably hasn't had to deal
with the health care system lately. The 'free enterprise' health care system is
making plenty of money right now, whether people are well cared for or not, and
those organizations will do everything they can to prevent any change that
threatens their ability to 'charge what the market will bear.' Rationing is
already happening and we are the ones, by and large, getting rationed.

The total failure of the Congress to enact any kind of meaningful reform last
year is a sad statement about the power of vested interests to protect
themselves in our democracy and about the willingness of the general populace
to sucumb to fear-mongering instead of looking out for their own best

Kim wrote:

> It seems to me that the best, the BEST alternative for people who want
> to contract independantly is affordable, universal, health care coverage.

I agree entirely. Normally, I don't jump in on political discussions, but this
is one that I feel too strongly about. We need to look our for our own best
interests, and let the health care industry take care of itself. It showed last
year that it is more than up to the task.

With hope for the New Year,

The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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