Universal Health Care: Shoring Up The Economy
It is no secret that I am a huge proponent of a universal health care system being instituted in the United States. If you have followed my blogs on medhealthinsurance.com at all, I somehow often manage to slip in a little blip about universal health care and all its glory, even if I’m talking about something as seemingly mundane as doctor’s visits. It is also no secret that this country is slipping deeper and deeper into a financial maelstrom. Experts may still be calling it a recession, but we are just a hop, skip and a jump away from a full-blown depression.
If we want to avoid an economic situation similar to that in the 1930’s, the government needs to do something, and fast. Obviously, the economic stimulus packages didn’t do what they were supposed to do, though I did enjoy having the extra money to fly home and see family in California. Borrowing more money and throwing it at the American consumers in hopes of “shoring up the economy” is a plan that just doesn’t seem to be working, and another path needs to be taken. And as you will see in the rest of this post, a universal health care plan might just be that path we need to sprint down.
Universal Health Care and Jobs
The high unemployment rate is no where more prevalent in the country than in my current residence of Michigan. Jobs have been cut, slashed and hacked across America, and people are desperate. No jobs means no income, and often, no health insurance. When people are lacking a source of income, they are not able to pay any outstanding medical bills they may have, and they now have no way to access health care whether it was provided through their employer or not. Universal health care would address this issue in huge leaps and bounds. The 6.7% of our population that is unemployed would be assured that they would have health insurance for themselves and their families. People would live longer, our infant mortality rate would go down, and obviously the high numbers of uninsured would disappear.
Trying to stimulate the little guy like you and me, rather than providing billions to the people striding around Wall Street in Rolex watches would be a much better way of putting money where it should be spent. Those without jobs would have one less thing to stress about: staying healthy so they can continue to look for a new job.
The Cost of Universal Health Care
Adversaries of a plan like this say that the costs would be too astronomical. This is an understandable concern; it certainly wouldn’t be cheap. However, if you think that back in January of this year a $146 billion dollar stimulus package was approved (that basically did nothing to remedy the situation), and a Wall Street bailout plan could skyrocket to near $3 trillion, the $100-$200 billion predicted to switch to universal health care seems like chump change. That money would cover “requiring that insurance companies abandon any screening based on preexisting conditions, fund tax credits for employers and workers, open up Medicare to younger folks, boost enrollment in State Children’s Health Insurance Plans, and jump-start other initiatives to get everyone under the universal coverage umbrella,” according to an article in Business Week.
Health care is one of the biggest United States employers, with 13.4 million people employed, so putting money into growing a health care system like a universal umbrella would not only ensure that everyone has health insurance, but that many news jobs are created to help those currently without.
Obama Should Say “Yes We Can”
Barack Obama’s infamous campaign slogan should certainly be applied to putting this new health care system into place. He wouldn’t be the first President in United States history to take a stab at it, but he would certainly be the first to successfully make it happen.
According to the Business Week article, a key platform in Theodore Roosevelt’s unfortunate Presidential campaign of 1912 was national health insurance. President Harry Truman tried again after World War II with his “Fair Deal.” President Clinton’s health-care initiative early in his first term collapsed. It is sad that none of these gentleman were able to make a system like universal health care work for the nation at this time, but I feel it is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed now.
If money keeps being poured into the bank accounts of the rich while the unemployed sit in their foreclosed-upon houses with deteriorating health, what does that say about our nation? I hope that President Obama will take these factors into strong consideration, and give this economy the type of boost it really needs.
photo credit: aprilandrandy