The health care article by your publisher Bill Forhan does need a response.
Mr. Forhan is correct when he states that we must all ask hard questions regarding our nation’s health care system. He overlooked two important questions regarding health care: Why is it that so many people in the U.S. declare bankruptcy or need to sell their home because of a costly health care crisis? And why is the U.S.A. the only developed country that does not have universal health care for all of its citizens and workers?
A civilized society must cooperate and care for matters that are a mutual benefit to that society, such as safety, education and health. All citizens are already protected by our police force, firemen, military and are entitled to an education. We do this for the benefit of our society as a whole. Why shouldn’t all citizens be covered to the same degree and free from anxiety that a heart attack or cancer might destroy them financially?
Mr. Forhan states that he supports a private sector approach to health care and competition with a free market that will reduce health care costs. He then offers four suggestions to make health care more affordable. Interestingly his first three suggestions are for Congress to limit competition by forcing private care plans and providers to establish fixed rates and treat everyone the same. That would be good for individuals and small businesses such as Mr. Forhan’s, but is not a free market competitive approach to health care. By suggesting Congress treat small businesses the same as everyone else he is actually supporting the notion and need for a national health care system! His fourth suggestion is well intentioned but not realistic as part of a free market approach. His suggestion that the federal government be required to pay the same rate as private insurers would not work simply because some private insurers do not pay for many procedures, which would result in the federal government being required to not pay for some procedures that they currently pay for.
Keep asking candidates for public office those questions about universal health care and rent the movie Sicko if you didn’t get the chance to see it when it was in town.
Publisher’s response: Keith, I don’t disagree that a civilized society needs to provide for the safety, education and health of its citizens, but that does not mean by definition the government needs to be the provider of those services. In fact, historically our country has shown the rest of the “industrialized world” that the private sector can and does do a better job than government when the free enterprise system is allowed to work. Contrary to your read of my editorial, what my plan calls for is that the government needs to insure there is a level playing field for all competitors so that marketplace competition can be allowed to work. My proposals would not limit competition by forcing providers to treat everyone the same. What it would do is require insurance companies to design and price their products based on the health profile of the entire society. Currently many insurance companies “control their costs” by excluding high risk customers from their plans. As a result, many high risk individuals cannot find insurance they can afford. The purpose of insurance is to reduce the financial impact of a catastrophe on individuals by spreading that cost over a larger population. That is true whether the catastrophe is a personal health crisis or your home burns down. The biggest problem with our system today is that government has repeatedly interfered with the private sector through ill-advised regulation of insurance but also by forcing the private sector to pay for services not paid for by politically controlled government programs. So I ask you, how will a government takeover of our medical system enhance the coverage? There will be no competition under a government run program. If you don’t like the plan the government offers, you will not have the opportunity to find a different provider. And if you think your “health insurance plan” unreasonably denied your claim – who are you going to sue? I am afraid Michael Moron offers a program that has failed in all of the other “industrialized” as well as third world countries where it has been tried. Let’s prove once again that the real way to solve this problem is to untie the power of a free market economy. It has worked every time it has been tried.