Let’s talk health care coverage in the U.S.
I have conservative friends who are opposed to what they call “socialized” medicine. And they claim breaking up the for-profit health insurance system would hurt hundreds of thousands of people employed by that industry.
And I have liberal friends who want to scrap the entire private insurance system altogether.
I think letting people keep what they have if they like it (i.e. private coverage through their work) is important. It’s a more winning, practical position to take politically than saying we’re going to take your insurance away from you. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being practical and making actual progress, rather than taking an adamant, unyielding stance.
While I like the Japanese model of national health insurance and single payer, I recognize that it’s not the only possible model. Some European countries with full coverage also have a mix of private and public insurance plans. It might be hard getting the U.S. to completely dump private health care.
But… but… but… The current U.S. health care model does not work. And sorry my conservative friends, but the private marketplace is not the complete solution. There are huge gaps of desperation. If you don’t recognize that you are plain wrong. High risk pools in the private market place have never been the solution to that problem. That’s why the ACA was passed to begin with.
I was talking to one friend the other day. She has a private business and under the ACA it would cost her and her husband $2,800 a month for coverage with an annual deductible of $6,500 each! That’s like no coverage at all! It’s unaffordable. So they opt to pay a few thousand dollars a year instead as a tax penalty for no health care coverage. She was in an accident recently and couldn’t afford to go to the hospital!
Clearly that system doesn’t work.
So I think adding the so-called “public option” is the way to go. People should be able to buy into Medicare (or something like it) at a guaranteed affordable rate. Preferably something based on income.
I think that’s a reasonable, achievable way to go for now.
It’s also one of the things Biden describes in his platform. It seems like a good way to make progress.
I agree, Doug! My daughter, Celene, is here in the US right now waiting for her spousal visa. She is excited to get back to Japan with its universal health care. She loves the system there. 🙂