By Tom Kando
I can’t stand it any longer. I HAVE to jump into the fray about Obamacare. It’s the top of the news again, now that the Supreme Court is about to rule on its constitutionality.
The outlook for Obamacare (officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA) is bleak. For one thing, a majority of the Supremes are conservative Republicans. Also, the suits challenging the act’s constitutionality are being filed by over half of all the states.
Every TV and radio station has been discussing the issue, offering many expert opinions. What really gets me is that according to opinion polls, a large majority of the public is against Obamacare!
What have Americans been smoking and drinking? Is this the result of brainwashing, or what?
Okay, America, let me help you out of your dismal confusion. I’ll make it short and sweet:
1. Requiring and providing universal, mandatory medical insurance is identical to requiring universal, mandatory car insurance. Anyone who is at risk and who eventually has to be bailed out by society - whether from illness or from a car accident - should be covered. And since illness is universal, health insurance should also be universal.
2. If the Supreme Court undoes Obamacare, it’ll be one of the greatest tragedies in our country’s history, a giant step backwards, guaranteeing America’s permanent status as the Western world’s laggard.
3. Every civilized country in the developed world has some form of universal, mandatory, national health plan, from Japan to Europe, from Australia and New Zealand to Canada.
4. There are many different models. A portable, single-payer health plan would have been best. Health insurance tied to your employer is not as nice. In that respect, Obamacare resembles the Swiss model (as well as the one adopted in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney’s watch) they say. But the model which America adopts is not so important. What matters is that this country finally wake up and join the rest of the world in adopting some form of universal, mandatory health insurance, that it stop such barbaric practices as excluding people with pre-existing conditions. To do less would be like returning to the Dark Ages.
5. Of all the countries of the world, America spends by far the most per capita on health care, and yet our national health is inferior to that of most other advanced nations. All health indicators show this, from life expectancy to infant mortality, from rates of heart disease to diabetes.
6. Constitutional arguments? Of course there should be a constitutional right to health care. The Courts have always treated the Constitution as an evolving and adapting document - as it must be, since it is the oldest constitution in the world. Judges have found many rights - from privacy to abortion - in the Constitution’s “penumbrae.” Many other countries have constitutions which explicitly include the fundamental right to such basic needs as health care and education. Surely our constitution should be able to accommodate such rights as well, don’t you think?
So you see, there is no argument. leave comment here
Saturday, March 24, 2012
By Tom Kando