Medi­care for all

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

Hos­pi­tal board mem­bers make de­ci­sions based on the mis­sion of their or­ga­ni­za­tions, not solely on how to in­crease the bot­tom line. Sim­i­larly, we can’t just let our fel­low cit­i­zens suf­fer, ex­pect­ing the free mar­ket to mag­i­cally take care of the prob­lem of the unin­sured and un­der­in­sured. The mar­ket has not done so; the per­cent­age of unin­sured has risen dras­ti­cally na­tion­wide. The Af­ford­able Care Act will not elim­i­nate the prob­lem, only slow it down.

It is up to us to choose what sort of a coun­try we re­ally are, a na­tion of com­pas­sion or a Dar­winian so­ci­ety in which the strong ruth­lessly tram­ple the weak. If we view our­selves as the moral bea­con of the world, then we must take care of the less for­tu­nate here. And that means national health in­sur­ance for all, not only those over 65. I have wit­nessed the fatu­ous ar­gu­ments about ex­pand­ing Medi­care, about it be­ing “too ex­pen­sive.” Coun­tries with sin­gle payer have bet­ter health­care out­comes than we do and spend much less per capita. Health­care should be a right for all Amer­i­cans, not a priv­i­lege. The best way to achieve that goal is Medi­care for all.

Jack Bernard, re­tired health­care ex­ec­u­tive Mon­ti­cello, Ga.

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