I hope that the bill which has passed will be a step in the right direction.
On one hand I feel it is very watered down; no single-payer system means that the market still has no corrective force to help bring down its over-inflated prices.
On the other hand a lot of important changes have been made. No longer can "pre-existing conditions" be held against people; this should never have been legal in the first place.
At first glance, something doesn't quite sit right with me about the concept of required health insurance. This is mainly based on sentiment, on cultural beliefs ingrained into most of us. Moving forward I think we are going to have to rethink such sentiment. After all there is logic to mandatory insurance; one of the reasons costs are so high is that the many millions of people who don't have coverage wait to get treatment until their conditions are far worse and far more expensive to fix. If everyone had basic preventative coverage we could improve overall health while decreasing health care costs.
I find it hard to accept the argument, "what if I don't want any coverage? Isn't that my right?" Hey, I guess you have the right to climb Mt Hood without proper training or gear; yet rescuers have to risk their lives and spend millions of tax dollars to save you if you get into trouble, so there are no clear lines between your rights and those of others. And, in this country, if you have no insurance a major health indecent will ruin
you. You or a family member gets cancer? You can lose your home and retirement and everything you've worked for your whole life.
But then, part of the reason American health care cost so much is that Americans are so unhealthy. If we were to pass laws that were designed to move people toward healthier behavior we'd all benefit, but at what cost? Many would find such laws "Orwellian." So we have to find a line between personal freedom and overall good. It's a fine line to walk; but again, rethinking our values now and then is a good idea.
Edited by locally pwned, 10 April 2010 - 04:22 PM.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein
"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
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