Politics

A Choice to Make

One of the many things the Republican Party has wrong is that there is a political issue of "choice" of health care insurance policies. The two reasons Republicans offer for repealing and replacing Obamacare is that (1) the American people want more choice of health insurance policies (competition lowers price), and (2) we want to reduce the cost of health care to the government to reduce the budget deficit.

Republicans have given up the claim that we do not want the government to run health care, since federally and state supported Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) are immensely popular even among their base. The lowest rate for these services is included in our taxes, since these services require no intervention of for-profit health care insurance corporations. Instead, Republicans claim that we want more choice of health insurance policies, written in such convoluted legalese that the overwhelming majority of us cannot even understand them.

The only thing I want is the right for (1) myself and my family (2) to go to any doctor or any hospital (3) with any injury or ailment and (4) have the best in available medical services (5) at any age in life (6) without worrying about payment for those services. My wife and I have that under the current Medicare program, since we are both over 65 years of age. I am sure most Americans would be willing to pay, through federal taxes, a reasonable price for such a service. It is a health care system like all Canadians, all Europeans, and citizens of all other industrialized nations already enjoy at any age.

I have never presumed to speak for all people on Earth, but I think I can safely say that most if not all people on Earth want to live the longest and healthiest life possible. Simple as that. The six principles I lay out above is what we need to see that happen in America.

There are choices I enjoy making: choices of the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the make and model of my car--these are issues on which all of us do not agree. Health is different: it is something we all can agree on. Health is a right for all, not a privilege for those who can afford it. I think everyone wants the six principles I list above. We don't need or want a choice between health care policies we cannot even understand, knowing that a mistake in our choice could cost us the money for exactly that disease we develop sometimes in the future.

If Donald Trump wants to make American great "again", he could start by making our health care system as good as other countries' and push for a single-pay system for everyone like Medicare. That would require repealing Obamacare and replacing it with an extension of Medicare. "Repeal and replace" was the rallying cry of Republicans for the past seven years, not the heartless reduction of Obamacare that the Senate has proposed.

(Sunbury Daily Item, June 27, 2017)