Thoughts on Healthcare for All

The main argument against universal healthcare in the US is that the government will ration the availability and limit the extent (i.e., no experimental or “heroic” care for the desperately ill) of healthcare to control costs. This seems to hold up in comparing the U.S.’s mainly private system to Canada and most EU countries. Notwithstanding this dynamic, it is clear the universal healthcare has become a public good similar to policing, roads and firefighting; the country suffers along with the un-insured under the hidden costs of lost productivity, un-paid medical bills and bankruptcies driven by costly medical bills. There is a psychological cost too — the untold misery of those living with chronically bad health that must choose between care and paying for basic necessities. There must be a better way.

Following are some brainstorm ideas for improving the health of all Americans and providing universal healthcare with reasonable quality and extent:

  • Health Education: Require that all schools teach the value of good nutrition and exercise, using updated guidelines that are not influenced by processed food conglomerates (the food-industrial complex has its tentacles deep into Washington). Include warnings on processed food of the dangers of over-consumption — similar to the highly successful anti-tobacco campaign of past decades.

Providing good healthcare to all must be a top priority for our country moving ahead. The problem is, however, multi-faceted and requires a comprehensive approach focused on wellness first and equitable access for all. Measures must be crafted to prevent reduction in healthcare supply through unnecessary bureaucracy and arbitrary cost controls.

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