America desperately needs health care reform

December 1, 2009

With the Senate poised to debate health care, we face a torrent of words. They will be important words. America desperately needs health care reform, no matter how set against it are sections of the political establishment. “The richest country on earth still unable to provide basic health care cover for one-seventh of its population” cannot and should not be allowed to stand. But nor should the illusion that health care reform will make America healthy. We need health care reform so that every sick American gets the treatment she or she so vitally needs; but we need far more than that. We need to put aside our tendency to require our key institutions to solve problems which we decline to solve ourselves. We ask our schools to solve problems of segregation and poverty whose origins lie deep in the way we choose to live our lives as adults.  We are now asking our hospitals and doctors to solve problems of illness that are similarly socially rooted.

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2 Responses to “America desperately needs health care reform”

  1. indyfromaz said

    STATE SPENDING INCREASES IN MEDICAID REQUIRED BY SENATE HEALTH BILL
    Alabama = 394 million
    Alaska = 39 million
    Arizona = 217 million
    Arkansas = 402 million
    California = 1,428 million
    Colorado = 163 million
    Delaware = 35 million
    Florida = 909 million
    Georgia = 495 million
    Hawaii = 41 million
    Idaho = 97 million
    Iowa = 77 million
    Indiana = 586 million
    Kansas = 186 million
    Kentucky = 199 million
    Louisiana = 432 million
    Maryland = 194 million
    Michigan = 570 million
    Mississippi = 136 million
    Missouri = 836 million
    Montana = 29 million
    Nebraska = 81 million
    Nevada = 54 million
    New Hampshire = 59 million
    New Mexico = 102 million
    North Carolina = 599 million
    North Dakota = 14 million
    Ohio = 399 million
    Oklahoma = 190 million
    Oregon = 231 million
    Pennsylvania = 1,490 million
    South Carolina = 122 million
    South Dakota = 33 million
    Texas = 2,749 million
    Utah = 58 million
    Virginia = 601 million
    Wash State = 311 million
    Wyoming = 25 million
    West Virginia = 132 million
    Can your state afford it?

    • It is entirely right and proper to worry about escalating health costs: but worry and panic are different things. Numbers need to be kept in proportion. North Carolina may be obliged, under the Senate bill, to increase its Medicaid spending by $599 million; but that is only a rise of 6 percent on an existing (2007) total Medicaid spend in North Carolina of $9, 829 million (Kaiser Family Foundation, (www.statehealthfacts.org). Spending 6 percent more to extend Medicaid to the many adults and near-poor Americans currently denied any federally and state funded health care is certainly costly, but to many of us – when put that way – may seem a slight price to pay. — David Coates

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