Everyone Should Receive Best Care

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The debate on healthcare reform in 2009 and 2010 was nothing short of surreal.  Now we must subject the arguments of those who want to eliminate Medicare rather than expand it, and who argue for private insurance to provide universal health care, to careful analysis.

These proposals are advanced under the ideological banner of “free” markets, but we have not noticed those who would “reform” Medicare by privatizing health care attempting to demonstrate that people will get better or cheaper health care, or that their private sector insurance will be cheaper or more comprehensive.  Such contentions have been disproven so far, here and around the world.  Unless those arguments were factually true, privatization proposals would not serve the public interest.

Here is a thought-provoking letter to the editor appearing in today’s  (4/26/11) Albany Times Union:


          Paul Howard (“Offer uninsured more plans,” commentary, April 19) wants New York to lower its regulatory standards by permitting insurers to charge older New Yorkers as much as three times more than younger ones for health insurance when it establishes a federally required insurance exchange.

He says that this would allow younger people to purchase plans with health savings accounts and high deductibles. Howard admits that his goal is expanded “market competition.”

New York’s high standards didn’t miraculously appear. They exist because of the efforts of heroes who fought to safeguard citizens from the abuses of “market competition.”

The business model fails to provide appropriate health care access. That’s why the rest of the industrialized world has long since cast it aside for superior arrangements that cover everybody and achieve better health care outcomes at far less cost.

Moving toward a more profit-oriented solution is no solution at all. It reduces health care quality while increasing expenditures.

New Yorkers will be inundated by charlatan schemes that have no business determining anyone’s access to health care. Proponents of the illusionary coverage offered by health savings accounts and high-deductible plans consider health care a consumer product, akin to buying detergent.

The difference is that medical availability could be of life and death importance. And no one really knows what plan they might need.

Illness or injury can strike anyone at any time. Its nature and the required immediacy and treatment cost are unknown factors for young and old, wealthy and less wealthy, alike. No matter what group we fit into, we all deserve access to the best care when we need it.

That’s why New York shouldn’t lower standards, but instead raise them.


Saratoga Springs

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One Response to Everyone Should Receive Best Care

  1. Highly energetic blog, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

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