Monday 26 October 2009
by: t r u t h o u t | Staff Editorial
Americans are mired in debate over which national health care reform plan would best serve their needs. On an individual level, Americans also face tough decisions on a regular basis when it comes to choosing private health insurance plans for themselves and their families.
We at Truthout don't think health care should be so confusing. We believe it is a human right and should be available to everyone. We also believe the same level of care should be available across the board, regardless of ability to pay for treatment. What if the fire department decided to not send its newest equipment to a particular house because the homeowner didn't have "Cadillac" insurance?
While we know that Anthony Weiner's single payer bill (HR 676) will not pass this time around, we call on all members of Congress to support this approach since it is the only true solution to the health care crisis.
As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) goes on estimating the percentages of Americans that will be covered by this bill or that bill, Weiner's bill stands alone in its ethical simplicity: It will cover 100 percent of the people, no CBO guessing games needed.
For now, we call on Congress to pass a bill with a "robust public option." We applaud the president and Congress for their consensus on key reforms, such as making it illegal to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions and capping out-of-pocket expenses. At the same time, we urge them to prevent the insurance industry from passing those costs on to us in the form of higher premiums and co-pays. Only competition from a strong public option will control skyrocketing health costs.
Congress members have centered the health reform debate on the question of whether a bill will add to the national debt, rather than whether it will provide affordable, top-quality health care to everyone. It is time to treat health care as a right of all people and not a commodity to be bought and sold.