Sunday, August 2, 2009

Health Care vs. The Health Insurance Debate

Written : Aug. 1, 2009

The health care debate is about insurance for health care, or coverage, it's not about health care itself. We have the best health care in the world in the U.S., bar none. This is not disputed, and the evidence is apparent. For instance, if anyone goes to the emergency room they are treated right away, regardless of who they are and regardless of which insurance they do or do not have. People flock to this country to be treated but few Americans travel to countries which feature socialized medicine for care.

House of Representatives' Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has a daughter, Jackie Kucinich, who appeared on CSPAN's Washington Journal on July 29,2009. Ms. Kucinich works for Roll Call, which professes to offer unbiased online and print coverage of American national politics. The appearance by Ms. Kucinich on CSPAN on July 29 also appeared to have been unbiased, kudos to her. Libby Casey, a member of Alaska Public Radio was the guest host on July 29. While I do not yet understand the relationship between each state's public broadcasting network (ex. Colorado Public Radio) and National Public Radio, or NPR, I do know from personal experience that NPR appears to be unbiased, but it leans to the left.

Back to the debate. The political left tells us there are 50 million uninsured in the U.S. It's their right to have insurance, so how will we cover them? It's a matter of fairness at any cost for the left. The issue as seen from the right questions why we need to spend $1-2 trillion or more in future taxes or "stimulus" to clean up health care insurance issues since there are many other ways to do it. The right also questions the 50 million number (it's usually stated as 47 million) and brings to a part of the debate the question of whether or not the millions of people here illegally in the country (estimated from 7-20 million) should be counted as uninsured. The right wonders if the millions of people who do not pay for insurance should be covered, or paid for, by the tax payers?

Libby Casey, the host, referred to the issue several times as "health care". When it's framed that way, conservatives can appear to be the 'bad guys', especially when they are accused of being against "health care". The issue should be referred to by any of its' rightful names instead, such as "health care reform", "health care debate", or "the health care insurance bill". As Ms. Kucinich pointed out in a fair and unbiased manner, Republicans DO NOT want to kill "health care", since we all have great health care already. The Republicans, or conservatives, just take a different approach to reform. Their version is based on tax cuts - the opposite of taxes imposed - and making the industry healthier via cleaning up waste in the system. Conservatives in general look at the public insurance option and think it will undercut private health care insurance, thereby eliminating it in the long run. They also look at the long wait for service in other countries and are put off by the idea that a calculation is usually made as to whether or not it's cost effective to treat patients based upon the estimated survivability of a patient.

Please be careful how you refer to the debate. It's not about health care. It's about insurance.


Scott Martin #1

Scott Martin #2


Murphy Klasing

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