BY FRANK P. BELCASTRO
A clear replacement of the private health insurance companies with federal insurance, as Medicare for the elderly did in 1965, allows for clear language. Twenty thousand people die in America each year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine. Hundreds of thousands more suffer because they have no insurance to treat their diseases or injuries.
About 100,000 lives are lost from medical-hospital negligence per year, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. This vast tragedy is hardly going to get worse under universal government health insurance that assembles data patterns to reduce waste, enhances quality, and transparency. By contrast, the secretive big health insurers who make more money the more they deny claims, ignore their loss prevention duties.
In 1950, when President Truman sent a universal health insurance bill to Congress, the American Medical Association [AMA] claimed that government health insurance would lead to rationing of health care, higher prices, diminished choices and more bureaucracy.
Fifty-nine years later, “corporatized medicine” has produced all these consequences, along with stripping away the medical profession’s independence. Today, the irony is that the corporate supremacists are accusing reformers in Washington of what they themselves have produced throughout the country. Rationing, higher prices, less choice, and mounds of paperwork and corporate red tape. Plus, fifty million people without any health insurance at all.
Single payer means everyone is covered from birth, as is the case now in every western nation. Imagine no lives lost or suffering due to no health insurance. Any Congressperson against single-payer is against the tax payer and in the pocket of the insurance companies and their allies.
– Frank P. Belcastro lives in Dubuque, IA and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer