The GOP’s recently proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) doesn’t sound very American to me. I don’t see how a plan that is reported to likely see 14 million Americans lose their health care coverage in one year and 26 million by decade’s end as being very American. I don’t see a plan that gives tax credits to the wealthy and removes caps on insurance company CEO bonuses as being very American. I don’t see a plan that burdens lower income, particularly seniors, with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs as being very American.
What would be a truly American health care plan?
I will just come out and say it, a single-payer plan that covers one and all. That would be it. Yes, universal health care. I’m for that. It boils down to the philosophical belief held by many, including me, health care is a right. Period. It is not a privilege based on one’s ability to pay.
Don’t like the idea of universal health care?
Then why not try to fix the Affordable Care Act?
Why not try that first?
Isn’t this just logical?
I’m still trying to figure out why there is such a rush to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Why not fix the problematic parts or at least consider this. If things cannot be fixed, go from there. But shouldn’t a repair at least be considered?
After all, parts of the ACA are generally well liked because they will be kept, so is it truly be repealed anyway?
I realize I sound like a typical liberal Democrat, but even if I were a Republican, I would still be in favor of universal health care for all. (Does such a Republican exist?) Because again, I would still believe that health care is a basic right in a country such as ours.
Our system is so messed up at this point it can seem like the solutions are ambiguous at best and downright impossible at worst.
Sometimes we make things too complicated.
Again, it boils down to, do you believe anyone and everyone living in the USA in the year 2017 and beyond deserves health care, or don’t you?
Does your best friend deserve health care? Does your former work colleague who got fired three months ago and is still job searching deserve it? Does your elderly relative deserve it? Does your disabled cousin deserve it? Does your unemployed neighbor and his four kids deserve it? Does the single mom working herself ragged trying to make ends meet deserve it? Or the single dad? Or the part-time worker trying to get by on minimum wage?
Do you deserve it?
And if you do, why would anyone else not?
Yes, there are issues with the ACA. For example, the insurance companies are pulling out of the exchanges because they say profits aren’t there; they are losing money. But how and why are insurance company CEO bonuses still so high then? Something’s off here, don’t you think?
There is the valid concern that if we were to go to a single-payer plan, what would happen to the insurance industry? And the pharmaceutical industry? Well, the insurance companies would need to adapt. The drug companies might need to as well. They’ve had too much control for too long anyway.
It’s better to put the American people (all of them) first, is it not?
Isn’t this what President Trump promised?
And yes health care is expensive. Priorities will need shuffling. But does anyone really believe costs are going to come down anytime soon when our present system is a for-profit system?
I don’t have the answers. There are many people a lot smarter than me who could figure this stuff out.
The United Kingdom it seems has a pretty good thing going as far as their National Health Service (NHS) goes. Everyone kicks in a determined amount based on income. Everyone receives quality care. And the UK spends less on health care than the US does. In the UK, private insurance is available, too, offering another layer of coverage. So there’s that option to mull over.
The same is true about Canada. Less money spent. Better outcomes. And overall, Canadians like their system.
Americans like to think we have the best health care in the world, but the facts supporting this belief don’t stack up.
Of course, there would be problems with universal health care, too, big problems.
But don’t we have big problems now?
Supporters of AHCA such as Paul Ryan proclaim their new plan offers Americans freedom to buy what you want to fit what you need. This logic isn’t reality for many. It you can’t afford what you need, it’s not freedom. Fake freedom in health care (or anywhere else) is not freedom. And waiting to buy more coverage until you’re older (and likely sicker) makes no sense, fiscally speaking.
The goal should always be to cover more people not fewer people because sooner or later everyone needs health care.
Can you imagine, walking into your clinic and not having to worry about insurance this and insurance that? No co-payments. No deductibles. No quibbling about coverage. No fights over the phone with your insurance carrier rep trying to convince him/her that you need a procedure your doctor recommended covered.
You get sick. You go to the doctor. You get care. You go home and try to get better.
Call me naïve. Call me idealistic. Call me crazy. Call me whatever you want. I don’t care.
At some point, the US will likely end up going this route of universal health care for all, anyway. Because not doing so isn’t working. It’s coming, though getting there will undoubtedly be a long, painful and highly contentious process.
Maybe it’s time to start figuring out how we go about implementing such a “radical” idea.
Until then, it makes no sense to repeal the ACA.
Until every American has (not has access to, but has) health care, no plan should be called an American plan.
Do you believe quality health care is a basic right for all Americans? Why or why not?
If you live outside the US and your government provides health care to all, how’s that working for you and your family? What are the biggest issues?
Do you believe the US will eventually offer universal health care for all?
Featured photo: Eric Thayer/Reuters
Flag image via Wikimedia Commons
NOTE: The Republicans are trying to amend the AHCA proposal in order to increase its chance of passing in the House.