US health care reform a necessity
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2011 15:01
Oh, U.S. health care reform, what a roller coaster it has been.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably heard quite a bit about the Democrats' desire to update our current health system and naturally, the Republicans' desire for its repeal.
Yes, you heard me correctly; the left and right do not agree with each other about something. I was just as surprised as you are.
But what really shocks me is the fact that this issue is still even being debated. Our current system is vastly flawed and needs to be dealt with immediately. Don't believe me?
Our present health care arrangement is extremely expensive, costing the average American about $3,000 per year. This is due to the fact that it is run by private, for-profit insurance corporations.
Those who can afford it pay a monthly premium to an insurance company and in return, the insurance company will support this client with benefits when in need.
The problem is, these are corporations we're talking about. Their aim isn't to be some sort of savior of all Americans. Their goal is to make a profit.
And the way to make the big bucks in that type of industry is to charge a high premium and limit the benefits they promised.
For example, many insurance companies refuse to serve Americans with pre-existing conditions, whether it's asthma, diabetes or cancer. Why would they want to pay for them?
The people who don't receive coverage are likely the ones who need it most.
Even those of us who are lucky enough to be in the oh-so safe hands of health insurance are paying a ridiculous amount of money to do so. Over the past decade, insurance premiums have doubled in price, and continue to grow.
The five largest health insurance companies in the United States have increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009 alone.
So, while these companies are swimming in millions of our dollars, common citizens are filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. for having health problems they cannot afford to properly insure.
Fair treatment for health conditions is a right; it's not just some luxury that only the rich should afford. When there is an incentive for our ‘health care system' to not care for our people, something is clearly wrong.
President Obama and most of the Democratic Party agree and have spent the better part of the past two years working out a new bill that would replace our current mess of a system.
Fortunately, that new bill was signed last year and reform was on the way but the Republicans are already deep into the process of repealing it.
With this new universal health care system, our government would have been able to regulate the health insurance companies and place stricter regulations on how they run their businesses. For example, the new bill would not allow companies from denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and abolish absurd rules such as "lifetime limits" on coverage.
The U.S. is one of only three developed countries in the world that has yet to implement a universal health care system, the other two being Turkey and Mexico. So why haven't we gotten with the times yet?
Among a few other ideological issues, conservative politicians claim that the new bill would cost too much to implement and that it would add to our deficit (not unlike a certain unnecessary war). There is no public evidence of this claim, and advocates of the bill say it will actually save taxpayers around $230 billion in the next decade.
Republicans need to stop being so stubborn and realize this is what's best for our country this issue is much too imperative to be postponed by these childish playground mentalities. We're talking about human lives here.
In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, Obama reached out and let it be known that he's willing to work and compromise with the other side.
If anything's certain about this issue, both parties need to set aside their differences and find a way to make this thing work.
Our nation is in a critical period in history, and it's time to get this country rolling again. It can be done. In Obama's own words, "Let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward."