Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Universal Health Care by 2014

That’s what Tom Huntley predicts; that is, that Minnesota, and most likely all of America, will have universal health care by 2014.
by Charlie Leck

Here are two great wishes that I have.

First, that Tom Huntley, the Chair of the Minnesota House of Representatives Committee on Health Care, is correct in his prediction that “the United States will join the rest of the industrialized world and have universal health care coverage… by 2014.” That’s only four years from now.

Second, that I may live to see it and join in the great celebration that is sure to follow.

That’s what Tom Huntley, of Duluth, Minnesota, told Mary Lehammer of Twin Cities Public Television. Huntley was one of the chief advisors to the White House on the health care bill struggles. He seems to have a handle on the direction of health care reform in America.

Yesterday, Tuesday, 23 March 2010, President Obama signed the House bill into law. In doing so, he proudly said: “We are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right.”

Now the President will “hit the road” to explain the case for the law and what it will do for all Americans. He’ll take on Republicans who, knowingly, I think, represent the law as an infringement on the right of Americans not to be insured, and also as an infringement on the right of each and the several states of the union. The President’s opposition will also contend that it is a bad law that will increase the expense of health care in the nation; while the President and his backers contend that the law will get health care expenses under control. Even worse, Republicans will argue that the President has done something evil and taken away certain rights of all citizens. The GOP has gone loopy, you know, and no longer deserves to represent honest, hard-working Americans. It is a party of the archaic – of times that no longer make sense or have relevance in the country. It is the party of the very wealthy, trying to pretend that they also represent the interests of ordinary and common Americans as well.

Out on the stump, however, the President will tell the American people things they will be overjoyed to hear. Americans, when they understand that insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people from coverage when they get sick and that children with pre-existing conditions cannot be refused coverage. And, that we'll be able to keep our kids on our own health policies until they are 26 (so we can safely get them through college and started on their own careers).

A Denver reader sent along a link to a fascinating and clever column by Richard Cohen in the Aspen Daily News On-Line, called ON COMPASSION WE’RE CATCHING UP! I’m including the first two paragraphs below and a link to the rest of the column in case you’d like to read it all.

“Mitch McConnell is right. The Republican Senate leader, a man whose vision is to deny others theirs, told The New York Times that President Obama’s health care proposal was part of an attempt to “turn us into a Western European country,” which, the good Lord willing, is what will now happen. I, for one, could use a dash of Germany, where there are something like 200 private health insurance plans and where everyone is covered and no one goes broke on account of bad health. It’s great to be healthy in America, but for too many Americans, it’s better to be sick somewhere else.

“I would also take France or Switzerland, but mostly I’d like Japan, which I move to Western Europe for the sake of argument, and where medical care is as good (or better) than it is here and much less expensive. What all these countries have in common is the recognition that health care is, like food or education, a universal right. The United States, to McConnell’s evident chagrin, is now moving this way.”

Again, here’s the link for “the rest of the story…” Read particularly the 4th paragraph of the column that begins: “This battle was never entirely about health care.” Cohen makes some very insightful comments.

As for Mitch McConnell himself, I like to defenestrate him (that’s my “word of the day” from and I’m supposed to try to use it in a sentence, so there you go).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the links. Our local papers have been much less insighteful.