Without an overwhelming and all encompassing piece of legislation, the United States of America has gotten to a point where over ninety percent of its citizens (and a few more) have some form of health care insurance. How did this happen?
My answer: A growing economy, which increased the wealth of all Americans, thereby affording them with the opportunity to have health care, along with many other basic and higher level needs.
My opinion on how to cover the remaining uninsured individuals is to further grow the economy. Do you think that the debate in third word countries is about health care and health insurance? To some extent, yes it is, but to a larger degree it is about more basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and safety. Why is this? It is in large part because these regions of the world have not grown their wealth so they have none to spread around.
If a comprehensive heath reform bill is not passed by the end of the year, does that mean that health reform is dead forever? Of course not, however if our economy does not start to grow again and to create new wealth, then, with massive legislation or not, the number of uninsured will increase.
Has there been improvement in the health care system already? Yes there has. Let me give a minor example. First, I warn you that this may not be considered an improvement, but nonetheless here it is. Many insurance companies and pharmacies will not provide name brand drugs if a generic brand exists, however for some conditions, such as anti-epileptic drugs, the generic drug may not be as effective and the consequences could be fatal. In the State of Maryland, an insurance company can not deny the name brand drug if it is deemed necessary by the patient’s doctor and if it has been reviewed and approved by the State’s Benefits Review Committee. Why the Doctor alone is not sufficient, I do not know, but this was a problem that was addressed with one small piece of legislation.
Does it not make more sense to address the concerns as they arise, rather than to completely revamp a system which is already adequately providing health insurance to over ninety percent of Americans?
How many people were insured in 1800, in 1850, in 1900, in 1930, and so on, as compared to today? The growing economy has increased the number over the years and it will continue to do so, unless a new economic system is put in place in the United States, which stymies growth instead of allowing for growth.
The proposed health care reform legislation is not health care reform at all, but in actuality, just one more step, and a big one at that, towards that new form of economy, which would lead to our demise.