Friday, September 11, 2009

The Case for Healthcare Reform, Part 2

This is Part 2, for Part 1 click HERE.

In addition, a national development of a computerized records system, such as those pioneered by the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics which have helped enhance the outcome of its patients and have reduced the cost of healthcare, is an important goal. As for opportunities for the private sector in healthcare reform initiatives such as computerized records, many companies have already stepped in with their programs, such as Microsoft HealthVault, Google Health, and Dossia. Healthcare reform would mean a greater use for these services. This is an example that while private industry is integral in innovations in a free market, when there is an exclusive product or service that, if made more accessible to the entire population, would benefit all, then the government has a right to step in and make that happen.

These and other actions proposed by the President as well as countless economists and independent research organizations leads to lower long-term healthcare costs and a better lifestyle for everyone, with fewer worries. Take a look at Canada, the UK, France, or even Cuba; they have a nationalized healthcare system which includes 'perks' such as paid maternity leave that led to healthier, longer lives for their citizens and a more productive economy. Worries in the US about paying for the healthcare of illegal aliens is simply untrue, and is one of many lies fanned by such closed-minded reactionaries such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, who recently has conjured up terms such as "Obama's Death Panel."

The public option is also a major component of healthcare reform since it allows individuals and families to do what makes America a great capitalist nation: purchase the health plan of their choice. This creates more competition and makes HMOs lower their ridiculously high premiums and provide better value for the money to compete. The President's plan to also make individuals pay for basic health insurance (with certain exemptions) will ensure that the responsibility of staying healthy is shared by everyone, since an illness here will affect everyone else.

The need for healthcare reform in this great nation is best summed up by a quote from John Locke, one of the great Enlightenment philosophers whose ideas helped patriots establish the American government. In Locke's Second Treatise of Government, he said,
"This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property."
When our freedom is attacked, do we all not band together to defend it? This is the question we must ask ourselves now but for healthcare - can we risk continuing to fear whether or not our guardians of our health (doctors) and their employers (private insurance companies) are truly caring for our well-being whenever we get sick? More and more, we see doctor's pledges to the Hippocratic Oath being more and more overshadowed by the promise of pay from insurers. Or will we form a better society by investing in our physiologic and economic future by ensuring that everyone has the same fair access to healthcare that people better off get? Let us honor the late, great Senator Ted Kennedy, who fought for decades for better healthcare for Americans. Let us make the right choice as a united country for the betterment of ourselves and for our future generations. Let us say yes to the President’s healthcare reform.

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