Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The real health care issue

Kucinich is the only candidate advocating a single-payer solution to our health care crisis. Please look at this excerpt from an article entitled "Obama-Clinton Health Debate Ignores Real Issue":

Senator Clinton claims that the only way to achieve “universal” coverage is to require everyone to have insurance. Senator Obama says people don’t have insurance not because they don’t want it, but because they can’t afford it. Both are skipping the main problem.

It’s true that no plan can be called “universal” unless everybody is in. It’s also true that skyrocketing costs have priced millions of Americans out of access to care. A Kaiser Family Foundation 2007 survey found that average family premiums are now $12,106 - not including the additional charges for deductibles and co-payments for everything from doctor’s appointments to prescription drugs to emergency care.

Costs are the central story today, cited by most Americans as their major worry about their health coverage, and are why health care is the leading domestic issue in the presidential race.

The trouble for most of these families is not the lack of insurance, though; it’s the insurance they already have. Consumer Reports in August reported that four in 10 Americans are “underinsured.” Half postponed needed medical care because of cost. One quarter had outstanding medical debt. Only 37 percent said they were prepared to handle unexpected major medical bills.

It’s hard to imagine how forcing more people to buy insurance solves these problems, especially when none of the top three Democratic candidates has advocated any cost constraints on the insurers, drug companies or other industry giants.

Insurance companies make more money by denying health care claims. When their first responsibility by law is to their share holders, this is always going to be the real issue. I think it's simply immoral for health care to be organized on a for profit basis.

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