National health care can work

May 4th, 2008 | By Hot News Reporter | Category: Insurance Today

I belong to a boat club in which all of the members work together to maintain the facilities and our boats. Today I was working there, helping others and in turn receiving help. We have a group of people who have banded together to make boating more affordable by spreading the expense and work over many. We have a budget that must be balanced against the dues and fees collected. If we want to spend more, we have to raise dues.

I realized today how much our club is like a country on a small scale. Through the ages, people have come together to make life easier and to accomplish things they could not do alone. First it was in tribes and then countries. Conservatives, at least those we hear from now, have it all wrong. They hate government and taxes. They fight against national health care and employment assistance because they think it gives citizens something for nothing and they say, makes them lazy.

Government never gives you something for nothing. You get out of it what you put in. The idea is that there are things that people can do collectively better than they can do by themselves. I don’t think that even the most avid conservatives would believe that we should abolish police and fire departments and protect their own homes. Neither would they want to be responsible individually for the roads they use. There are things the government can do better and cheaper. Even the so-called “self-made businessman” the Republicans love would be helpless without good roads to move his products.

I’m not naive. I know government can be corrupted and many times does not have the interests of most of its citizens in mind – just look at the last seven years! But in a democracy, citizens have the right and responsibility to make sure that their government works for them. We have to make sure that when we pay taxes, those that we have elected to spend this money do so in response to our needs and not the needs of those who give them the most contributions.

Let’s look at health care. We pay more for our health care than any other country and are No. 37 in quality of this care.

Only two non-Third World countries don’t have national health care, South Africa and the United States. Insurance companies know that the larger the pool of healthier clients the lower the cost, that’s why they try not to insure sick people. When you have a government plan, you have the largest possible pool and costs come down proportionally. Medicare, for example, has administrative costs around 5 percent while the private insurance companies spend 40 percent, not for your health care, but paying its employees and executives. If we had national health care, our taxes will go up but if we have a responsible government, the increased taxes will be more than offset by the money saved from not having to buy private insurance.

Our government is capable of providing very good health care. Ask John McCain, he has had government health care since he was born!

The conservatives are wrong; government isn’t the enemy and taxes are necessary. But we, as citizens, must make it clear by our vote that our representatives work for us.

The writer, a Spring Valley resident, is a retired dentist.


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