Should Health Care be Nationalized in the United States of America?

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

The Health Care system should not be nationalized in the United States of America. In other words, the US government should not set the price that doctors can charge for specific procedures or set the price of prescription drugs or the cost of medical insurance.

Poul Anderson spoke the truth when he said, “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.” (Sylvan Barnet, Bedau Hugo. Current Issues and Enduring Questions pp. 257)

It is true that we live in a complicated world. The Body Works Health Database teaches that "The processes of life are wondrous, indeed. Though much has been learned about the technical intricacies of pregnancy and childbirth, for example, the concept of the existence of life itself, is still overwhelming. On our planet, over five billion people are engaged in the day-to-day occupations of life, from conception to death. In spite of this dramatically large number of people, each person is unique, a notion which, in itself, is cause for reflection." (CD-ROM Body Works 5.0 for windows from Softkey)

The health care system in the United States is a delicate and complicated system. Dianne Hales identifies some of the options available to a family using the current system.

“Many individuals with insurance are covered under an employer-based plan (options offered and partially funded by their employer). Individual health insurance coverage, though more costly, can be obtained through some companies. Uninsured persons depend on their own ability to pay, their qualifying for government insurance, or the care that physicians and institutions donate to those unable to pay." (Hales, Dianne. An invitation to Health 2009-2010 Edition.)

Hales also identifies some of the problems that exist in the Health Care System of the United States, “People with family incomes of $75,000 or more are twice as likely as those with family incomes less than $20,000 to be in excellent health” (12).

Hales continues by saying that, “. . . Race itself isn’t the primary reason for the health problems faced by minorities in the United States. Poverty is. Without adequate insurance or the ability to pay, many cannot afford the tests and treatments that could prevent illness or overcome it at the earliest possible stages. One in three Hispanics under age 65 has no health insurance. According to public health experts, low income may account for one-third of the racial differences in death rates for middle-aged African American adults” (13) Hales also notes that, “Women are more likely than men to lack health insurance, and the lower a woman’s income and education, the less her likelihood of getting important preventative services…” (500).

I ‘m a U.S. citizen and I’ve also lived in Canada for several years. I ‘ve been a patient in the heath care systems of both Countries. While living in Canada I experienced some chest pains one morning while hiking and over exerting myself. I went to the Hospital and immediately was given an EKG test. The results suggested that I had not had a heart attack and that I had just pushed myself too hard until I was at the point of exhaustion. I was never sent a bill for this examination.

While living in the United States, I ruptured a disk in my back. I was self-employed and had no medical insurance. I was unable to sit or stand without experiencing extreme agony. Because I had no medical insurance, I did not have access to medical care. I was no longer able to work for myself and I found it necessary to go to work for someone else. The nature of my injury caused me to experience extreme pain in the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of the left leg. I went to work for a company in which I had the responsibility of working at a computer all day. This required me to be seated and I was in agony the entire time. I worked in this way so that I could eventually qualify for medical insurance with this employer.

After receiving medical insurance I went to the doctor and had an MRI which confirmed my suspicion that I had ruptured a disk. Surgery was performed on my back and the disk was removed. Because of the time that had gone by, the nerve in my left leg had died and I am not able to flex the calf muscle in my left leg. This muscle has atrophied to almost nothing and I will be crippled and walk with a limp for the rest of my life.

After reading the story of my injury, it may seem that my essay would urge the Government of the United States to change current system of health care and Nationalize the health care system. This is not the argument that I am making. I recognize the impact that nationalization would have on the many people in this Country who are currently employed by HMOs and other medical insurance companies.

Income taxes in the United States are similar in this way because, a flat tax would be much more efficient and provide the most equitable taxation of the people. However, if the United States were to make a sudden change to a simple flat tax, the current structure of tax servicing would be devastated and the IRS itself would find it necessary to terminating the employment of a large percentage of its workers.

A sudden and drastic change in U.S. policy and law in the areas of the health care system and income tax code; would cause devastating effects on the economy by causing a sharp increase in unemployment. Changes to the tax code and health care system must come gradually if at all. Otherwise there will be devastating consequences to the wellbeing of every citizen in this country.

The health care system today is similar to a very high quality public transpiration system. We have a system that is like a high speed train from New York to LA. We have the fastest and best high speed train in the world. There is a large problem with this train however, it has a very limited number of cars and only one engine to pull it. There are simply not enough seats, daily trips, or stations to accommodate the needs of the entire Country. There is no possibility of offering a greater number of stops, additional trains, or more frequent service. This kind of train is simply too expensive. Some additional modes of transportation toward good health are needed.

We need a bus system that can help the common work-a-part-time-day people in this Country. The decision to add buses to the public transportation system does not require us to take the train out of service. We do not need to alter the daily life of those who have already been using the train with great satisfaction. We do, however, need to provide the rest of the people in the Country with a less expensive way to promote good health. Many of those who are stranded, in the backwaters of poor health, will not object to the idea of lowing slightly, the quality of service in order to increases the quantity of service.

Here is another way to think of the high speed train of US healthcare. Imagine that the train is running with many seats available at times because the fare is just too expensive. Therefore some people need to have the bus fare that is less expensive even thought the bus may take a longer time to get them to their destination. This needs to be an alternative so that we can, as a Country reach the destination of Good Health.

President Obama proposes some interesting and monumental changes to the health care system in order to accomplish the goal of providing more Americans with Health Insurance. The following is a summary of these proposals according to the world wide web site for Barack Obama 7 Apr. 2009 .

Some argue that we must either nationalize the health care system or keep it exactly the way it is. We propose to keep things the same for those who are happy with it, (While giving them a cost savings of 2,500 dollars per year.) For those who are not happy with the current system, we will tax the rich to pay for you to have better access to health care. If we get these taxes in place we will be able to: Require coverage of pre-existing conditions, Make health care coverage affordable for small business, control malpractice insurance premium prices, and set the prices of treatment for catastrophic illnesses.

President Obama’s current proposals are more grounded in getting elected for the next term and winning over public opinion, than they are in finding a strategy that will receive the needed congressional votes to become law. The following counter argument for government price control comes from the world wide web site for Fox News 10 Apr. 2009 .
I have summarized this article as follows:
There is obviously a problem with the Health Care System in the United States. The focus of any constructive debate should therefore, center on what to do to solve the problems in the Health Care System. It is not right to paint
current Health Care workers as bad people. It is dangerous to believe that the government will do a better job than the current system.

Government run Health Care Systems have failed in Countries around the World and even in individual States here is the USA. We currently have the greatest health care system in the world. If the healthcare system were to be Nationalized completely, there would be a crisis as Doctors refused to work under the conditions mandated by the Government. The savings that are being promised from using Technology to stream line the medical records are not really possible.

We must, as citizens, recognize what we are in danger of loosing. We need bold leaders to set a course away from Nationalizing the Health Care System in the USA.

Universal Health Insurance coverage is a goal that morally, we cannot afford to abandon. Dianne Hales points out that “Most colleges offer some type of health insurance plan, with the student health center acting as the primary care provider. Many schools require enrollment if the student is not covered under any other plan.” (505)

Following this example on a national level is a simple solution to the problem of the medically uninsured in America. The most effective solution to this problem is to pass laws that require everyone in the US to have medical insurance. The government can provide an insurance program that is far more expensive and far less beneficial that current medical insurance, the uninsured could then be required by law to enroll in this unattractive government program.

If this law were enacted, the citizens of the United States of America, as they began to protest this action and look for other options, would influence the collective price of medical insurance and the cost of medical insurance would be reduced drastically in this Country. This drop in price would occur naturally as the existing medical insurance companies tried to secure the business of the 45 million Americans that would suddenly be shopping for medical insurance. The citizen health insurance motto would no longer be, “We can’t afford to have medical insurance.” Instead the national, citizen medical insurance motto would change to, “We simply can’t afford not to have medical insurance.”

Regrettably, like President Obama’s proposals, such a law would never receive the public support necessary to demonstrate to elected officials the political will necessary to successfully move the bill through congress with the required votes. If we as a Nation had started out with Nationalized health care it would be a good idea to keep it running and reform it as needed; however, making such a drastic change now, would only bring chaos and injustice to an industry that has done a fine job of caring for those who can afford the ticket to ride on the high tech train of the US health care system. We must not, therefore, blow up the high tech train just because alternate modes of transportation are not being created fast enough.

1 comment:

Fleeting_Thoughts said...

Nice discussion. On student health insurance however the mandate doesn't always bring about compliance. I did a study in school that compared commercial insurance with the recommended student insurance. Comparing similar benefits one plan was $7,000 per year and the other plan was $3,700.

It was the University recommended insurance that cost $7,000. If we take what is recommended, there may still be people that cannot afford the price tag.