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article imageOp-Ed: Health care reform would make health a right not a privilege

By KJ Mullins     Aug 19, 2009 in Health
Health care is the big topic when it comes to United States politics right now. The key player in the debate is the insurance industry, an industry that could lose if the government pushes universal government health care for all.
Taking the insurance companies out of the picture for basic health care coverage would deal a temporary blow to the industry. They would come back though with better plans for additional coverage as they do in Canada.
One third of health care costs in the United States goes to insurance companies. The companies of course do not want to lost that money. They will fight health care reform bills with their lobbyists allowing the American public to believe that universal coverage would weaken the government.
The fact that the public as a whole is not able to afford private insurance does not matter. The fact that without insurance people's lives are at risk is not a consideration. They are not doctors and therefore do not have to operate from the stance of first do no harm.
There is a long line of presidents who wanted to change the way health care is provided for the American people, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. These presidents believed that health care was not a privilege but a right for all citizens of the United States.
In the United States if you have a pre-existing medical condition your choice of health care is limited. If you are in the lowest income brackets you can qualify for state insurance programs, but those programs do not always cover all the medical needs you will have. If your state does not have access to services then you may not be able to either. It is truly a life or death situation where death is often the economic answer.
If the Obama plan was implemented in 2010 it is estimated that the number of uninsured people would be reduced by 26.6 million that same year. reports that the Lewin Group projects that the nation wide health care savings for the 2010-19 period would be about $571.6 billion.
While opponents to health care reform often cite the cost, which is estimated to be $452 billion per year they often do not factor in the savings in the long term to the health care dollar.
With health care reform coverage would be a right. People would be able to see the doctor prior to being so ill that costs sky rocket.
For those that are against health care reform I have to wonder how they can explain the need for groups like Remote Area Medical (RAM).
RAM recently had a clinic at the LA Forum for a week. During that time they took care of thousands who otherwise would not get medical attention.
In a nation that is considered one of the great powers of the world those without the means are treated like third world citizens. In under-developed nations it is common for free clinics set up and managed by charities.
The United States now has that same need.
Opponents slam bills that would allow citizens the right for health care and put down countries that do have universal care. Those nations do not have to use charities to provide for their working poor's health care needs. They are already covered.
Shouldn't that be the way for every person in the developed world?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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