Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Commentary: Health Care


Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars, battles and skirmishes combined. Yet, in spite of the historical human disease record, American media continues to ignore its implications, in the growing national healthcare debate.

Some plead we should care about the less fortunate, as indeed we should. Others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for healthcare than any nation, yet we are ranked 37th in healthcare quality and farther down in statistical availability. Some former Soviet block and South East Asian nations have better healthcare; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.

Over 43 million U.S. residents have zero health coverage; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage. More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems. Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid health care and long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.

Depending on the provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while only 1% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us. Very plainly, private healthcare as we currently have, is not the solution.

Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America's security, while continuing to ignore our immediate healthcare reality. Right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.

People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income. And they clearly don't understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage or, what can and will happen to their own children if their neighbor's children remain uncovered.

In reality, less than 1% of all U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own health coverage. All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs, dependent on the majority of those covered to remain relatively healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.

Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation. Disease has no boundaries. Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy. Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious disease.

Scientists claim that our planet is way overdue for a major epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education and science and all of our weapons will not protect us against the onslaught of human disease. And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.

Is it fair to say that any United States citizen that does not push for immediate affordable and adequate healthcare coverage for all persons residing or traveling within our borders is decidedly, unpatriotic? Is it fair to say they don't even care about their own flesh and blood? You decide.

From the book:
"How To Fix America In 500 Words or Less"
by Richard Aberdeen

Thank You, Sincerely
Richard Aberdeen 615-889-1669
292 Trails Circle - Nashville, TN 37214


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