Sunday, February 14, 2010

Healthcare Reform Is Still Alive

The battle for health-care reform still rages, as national legislation stalls in Congress and a new debate over a state-by-state approach begins. Some are proposing that each state decides independently over reform and enacts various pieces of legislation accordingly.

Advocates claim that imposing a national health-care reform would ignore state-wide differences in health-care markets. However, what these critics fail to understand is that without a national system set in place, health costs will continue to rise, making it increasingly difficult for those without insurance to attain it. This is what has been happening for the last 50 years. Insurance coverage was left to the states, and today we spend more on healthcare, per capita, than any other industrialized nation in the world, leaving millions uninsured.

Also, states have recently reduced coverage for individuals to balance their budgets. The federal government has greater flexibility in managing deficits, making the case for national legislation more sensible.

Although previous efforts by the Obama administration for universal healthcare have faced many setbacks, especially with the election of Republican Senator Scott Brown, the Democrats still have a majority in both the Senate and the House. There may need to be a greater push for bipartisan efforts, but enacting real reform is STILL POSSIBLE.

We need to lower insurance costs overall by expanding the pool of insured. We must enact national legislation to ensure that anyone and everyone who needs coverage will get it, and those who already have insurance will not see their premiums rise. This is an ever growing problem in the US, and is heavily tied to our suffering economic conditions.

Only until we have real health-care reform will our economy begin to prosper again, and millions of Americans receive the proper quality of life they deserve.

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