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To the editor:
Health care in America has gone from a state of
concern to a crisis. Universal health care is the solution. Jonathan
Cohn states it best in his book "Sick" (2007) when he says, "To
believe in universal health care is to believe that we can do more
and do better, all at once."
Because the current health care system is no longer efficient, it
must be altered or replaced altogether. Currently, the United States
is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to
health care to its citizens. Drs. John Battista and Justine McCabe
have proven that the universal system can solve many of America's
economic problems. While some think that it would be more expensive
to adopt a universal health care system, studies have shown that
single-payer universal health care could possibly save up to $1
billion to $2 billion per year without depriving citizens of their
needed services. It has also been shown that citizens under
universal health care attend more doctor visits and are therefore
living longer than American residents. America's life expectancy
figures have now slipped to 42nd in the world, down from 11th just
20 years ago. Socialized medicine also covers all citizens,
regardless of pre-existing conditions, age, race or gender: Everyone
has access to health care.
With all this evidence showing the benefits of universal health
care, why hasn't America adopted the system? It is because the
leaders of today feel that such a drastic move will diminish their
chances within elections. It is "baby steps" that they feel they
must take because the thought of socialized medicine scares
Americans. While neither 2008 presidential candidate is advocating
overall universal health care, Barack Obama proposes the best health
care plan that possesses similar concepts to that of socialized
medicine. In a recent debate, he said that "health care should be a
right for every American." Obama has also proposed a plan that will
be accessible to all Americans, not only those who can afford
it. Universal health care insures all citizens, regardless of
financial status, race, etc. Obama's plan states, "Patients will be
able to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of
being blocked by insurance bureaucrats." Those in nations with
socialized medicine can see whatever doctor and go to any hospital
that they see fit.
[to top of second column in this letter]
Obama has several ideas that are directly related to those of
socialized medicine, but he also proposes other good ideas within
his plan. While he is trying to help those without health insurance,
he is also lowering the costs by up to $2,500 for those who are
happy with their current insurance. This includes lowering the cost
of drugs by importing safe medications from other countries,
lowering the cost of tragic illnesses for employers and their
employees, and requiring hospitals to keep records of costs and
important data: "lowering the risk of medical errors and reducing
costs." He also intends to require health insurance companies to
cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans can benefit from fair
premiums: a common concern amongst many citizens.
Even though many Americans are happy with today's health care
system, Obama has new ideas -- new ideas that lean toward universal
health care and better overall wellness of the American people.
Barack Obama is the best option that voters have within this
election. When comparing his thoughts to those of John McCain, they
can't be any more diverse. In a recent debate, Obama revealed how
John McCain's proposal would give families a $5,000 tax credit to
pay for their health insurance. Unfortunately it takes taxing
employer health benefits for the first time in history in order to
work. Obama stated that "he gives you a tax credit with one hand and
raises your taxes with the other." McCain believes that $5,000 will
help Americans with their health insurance, when in reality, a
one-night stay in a hospital is $1,240 on average. What about those
who are seriously ill and need days or weeks of treatment? It is
apparent that John McCain's health care plan is not substantial to
the medical needs of the American people.
It is simple. Although neither 2008 presidential candidate is
advocating overall universal health care, Barack Obama poses the
best plan. His beliefs and proposals come closer to the concepts of
universal health, and universal health care is what America needs.
Barack Obama is the best alternative to socialized medicine that the
American people have within the 2008 presidential election.
Honors Composition and Language student
Eastern Illinois University
October 28, 2008]
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