Perspective: The Healthcare Debate Becomes Personal

Jan 18, 2019


A recent WNIJ news story focused on a doctor's proposal for a single payer universal health care system, while a representative of the Heritage Foundation -- a conservative think tank -- argued against it, suggesting that a "free market" approach would be far better. 



I smiled as I listened to this, because for half of my adult life I went without any health care precisely because of free enterprise. The market may be the best mechanism for building cars, cell phones, and other consumer goods, but it guarantees that those who didn't achieve success will be on their own when they need medical attention. I've been in that situation personally, and it is frightening. Though I now have Medicare, the Affordable Care Act still provides me with important benefits, and I refuse to vote for any politician determined to repeal it. 


Canada and the United Kingdom have socialized medicine, but multiple dozens of other countries have found ways to provide coverage for everyone utilizing existing medical providers. 


Insurance -- private insurance -- is a business. That doesn't make it immoral, illegal, or fattening, but it does set up a situation in which the goal is maximum profit for the shareholders, not patient care. Canada and the U.K. are parliamentary democracies, and their citizens could, if they wanted to, replace their system with one based on the American model. The last time I checked, they had not. 

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.