My college friend Gina (Mac '74) in Seattle is a smart lawyer, savy political commentator, and as the daughter, sister and mother of physicians and currently a lung cancer patient, a person with an acute interest in health care legislation. I just discovered that over the past couple of days she had posted a series of thoughtful and informative (summarizes key components of the health care legislation passed by congress and provides informed commentary on the probability that the lawsuites arguing that the federal government does not have the constitutional right to impose a requirement to buy health insurance will succeed) on her blog, the link to which I have taken the liberty of posting above.
The purpose of her blog is not to debate health care, so if you have negative reactions please send them to me in an email instead of bothering Gina with them (unless you are a friend of Gina's in which case, swing away).
Myself, add me to those who believe that the current American system needs reform. And that a base of government sponsored "socialized" medicine that provides the basic essential medical care to all Americans to supplement the better policies that all cannot afford would be a very very good thing.
After all, government medicine is providing my health insurance (Tricare) and medical leave (PHS policy on medical leave) and is the insurance and health care provided to all vets who seek care at the VA, to all uniformed services active duty and retired and dependents, and to medicare and medicaid beneficeries. Not to mention members of congress.
Time will tell whether the specific provisions in this legislation were wise or not. But for myself, I think it is time something began to change. If you have access to good medical coverage, and you do not work in clinics where you prescribe necessary medication that patients cannot afford to fill or EDs where people with no coverage present for emergency care that could have been avoided if they had had the option to present for preventive care, and if you do not work with these folks enough to learn their stories which rarely are as irresponsible as it is convenient to believe if you want to maintain the self -protective belief that others have less benefits than you because their behavoir has made them less deserving - then it is easy to think that the system is not broken for far too many Americans.
This does not solve anything - but at least it is a start in the right direction.
If you think we can't afford this, then raise my taxes (and those of all Americans in my tax bracket and above - but not below). We can afford to provide minimum care for our most needy and prehaps it is a better thing to do than buying bigger houses, redecorating more expensively, or investing in additional stock portfolios.
Just my opinion, but i am sticking to it. The wealthiest nation on earth should not have one of the lowest prenatal visits and highest perinatal mortality rates and the majority of bankruptcies should not be due to unexpected familial medical expenses. It just should not be so.