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Why are we so stubborn? A Case for Universal Healthcare February 11, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
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In my last post, I talked about how it took Americans sixty years to abolish slavery after it was made illegal in Britain. It was the right thing to do, but why did it take so long and why did it require a Civil War? Obviously, the Civil War had so much to do with agriculture and the industrial conditions in what was still a relatively new system. Compared to European nations, America is still a baby.

And yet, or maybe because of this, it seems like Americans refuse to look at the way things are done in other countries and seem to find their policies deplorable. I am thinking mostly of universal healthcare. This issue seemed so divisive in the last election. And it seems like the our legislature is so wrapped up in big business lobbyists, there is no chance it would come from them. By becoming an federally elected government official, they are guaranteed healthcare for the rest of their lives. And yet all the people who elected them have to fend for themselves.

There is no reason in one of the richest, most sophisticated countries in the world should cause people to go bankrupt because they can not afford basic medical treatments. I am quite surprised that in all this economic stimulus package that is being discussed, there is no revisiting of bankruptcy laws. During the Bush Adminstration, there were some major changes to the laws that did not help the individuals.

President Obama has said all along that he wants to move toward digital medical records and is backing that up by ensuring it is written into these stimulus packages. I think that is the first step in centralizing our system. By requiring our medical institutions to communicate in a common system that allows them to pass patient data back and forth, we can move to a system where the patient is the most important factor. Until we can remove the money hungry health insurance companies out of the picture, we are not taking care of our people.

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