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Left Justified: I need better health care

April 21, 2010

By Stanley Campbell

I get yelled at a lot. Usually by phone, usually by someone who disagrees with one of my columns. I don’t like getting yelled at. I enjoy the more philosophical discussions that are going extinct. I enjoy exchanging ideas and ideals with people who really want to share knowledge and, at the same time, be open to learning something.

So, when I got a message on my machine that started “You damn liberals and your health care are going to…” I hit the erase button. I did not want to hear it. First, I don’t want to get an ulcer. I have health insurance, but I don’t use it much: I’m afraid it will go up in price. Sometimes I wait for symptoms to worsen before seeing a doctor.

The new laws I think will protect me, and I’ll make more appointments when I am sick. I think. The media focused on the infighting and yelling more than the actual changes being suggested. I still don’t know where the “death panel” idea came from.

Anyone who thinks it should be OK to profit off sickness is suffering from a greater sickness than cancer. I can understand why a car salesman deserves profit by selling a Hummer (especially in this economy). But if I get run over by a Hummer, why should someone make profit off my misfortune? When facing death, we all would pay whatever it takes for good health. But we don’t really have time to research best prices while lying mangled in the road.

They say a liberal is a conservative who got sick and was rejected by his insurance company.

I long for the day when sickness is treated without cost to the patient, and is paid for by my taxes, which are shared by society. No one should profit from disease, especially bureaucratic insurance companies. By the way, early insurance companies were set up to share the cost of misfortune (yes, they were not for profit).

Doctors spend (some say invest) a lot of money into becoming professionals. Really, we should do what Cuba does and invest tax money into sending the best students to medical school. We should do what China did and teach thousands of paraprofessionals, sending them into neighborhoods to educate people about taking better care of themselves.

We should do what Switzerland does and take the profit out of health insurance (yes, there are still insurance companies in Switzerland—and they vie for the consumers’ approval).

The World Health Organization ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. was 37th. In the fairness of health care, we’re 54th. “The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world” (The European Dream, pages 79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less for your money.

But we should also go after the graft and corruption inherent in the system: doctors double billing, patients colluding with corrupt companies. These are good conservative suggestions.

Let me say there’s probably a lot I could agree with conservatives about, if they would just stop yelling at me.

  Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

 From the April 21-27, 2010 issue

3 Comments

  1. Dave

    April 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    well said, stan…..

  2. Ted Biondo

    April 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Stanley,

    Surprise, I disagree with you again! Today in Florida, I talked with some couples from Canada and from England. We discussed their health care systems. They stated their health care was ok in the beginning but that today people wait for certain health care tests for months and even years because of limited technology such as MRIs and technicians and nurses to do the tests.

    Some people are simply denied care because of their circumstances, and some elderly people in England actually die of malnutrition since there are not enough health care workers to keep up with the system.

    These people were not politicians and had nothing to gain by lying. But the couples, from two different countries, stated that their health care was miserable and they warned us about the government controlling the health care, rationing, etc. in our country, unless we wanted the same thing in the US!

    How you liberal “conservatives” think that we can add millions of people to the system with the same number of doctors (whose is going to spend 20 years in medical schools for what the government is going to pay) without rationing services, belies your mathematic abilities.

    Also, the couples stated that if some doctors accept private patients, the government tries to separate them from the government system. The same applies to the patients. Your either in the system are outside the system, according to these people.

    Besides, who rated the USA health system 37th? It sure isn’t the people who have to use the health care systems in the European Socialist countries that these people spoke of.

    And by fairness of the rankings do you mean that your views of government is that citizens should not only have the opportunity to be equal but that the government should make us all equal?

    I had a heart valve replaced 7 years ago. These couples stated that if I had that procedure paid by the government system, that I would not be able to get the same procedure again under the government plan – rationing – pure and simple.

    The government should have tried to help only those without insurance not make the rest of us join the government system. They did so because they needed the 50% that pay federal taxes to pay for those who pay no federal taxes – “fairness” to you liberals.

    Stanley, you will see one day the Supreme Court will rule against this health care plan because it is unconstitutional for the federal government to force its people to buy a product, that had nothing to do with Interstate Commerce, since insurance could never be purchased across state lines.

  3. Sheri

    April 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Stanley, I find it refreshing to hear an educated liberal standing up for his beliefs!
    Where are the rest of us? I know we’re out there, but all I ever hear is the far right conservative voice (teaparty movement). We need a movement of our own. Thank you for providing a logical common sense liberal viewpoint!

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