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Monday, May 14, 2012

Global push to guarantee healthcare coverage leaves U.S. behind | Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times

China, Mexico and other countries far less affluent are working to provide medical insurance for all citizens. It's viewed as an economic investment.

I am truly embarrassed and saddened by the continuing opposition to guaranteed health-care coverage for all U.S. citizens. Are we so self-centered and selfish in the United States that we are unwilling to care about maintaining and enhancing the health of all our fellow Americans? If people and politicians in China, Mexico, Thailand, India, Ghana, Rwanda and South American countries understand the value of healthy citizens, why can't we be as smart in the United States?

After all, the United States was the model to our planet for providing education for all its citizens. We should have been the model to our planet for providing health care for all our fellow citizens. Unfortunately, it's too late for that. But it's not too late to do the right thing within our borders.

The articles points out:
Today, the U.S. is alone among the world's richest nations in not providing healthcare coverage to all citizens. ... [P]opular demand for insurance protection has fueled an effort in nearly all [former communist countries in Eastern Europe and elsewhere] to rebuild their systems. 
Dr. Julio Frenk, a former health minister in Mexico and dean of the Harvard School of Public Health:
This is truly a global movement. As countries advance, they are realizing that creating universal health-care systems is a necessity for long-term economic development.
At this point, I can only hope our Supreme Court or, perhaps, a future president and Congress, won't undo all or parts of the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.  Obamacare isn't perfect and needs to be improved, carefully. But when (if?) the law, as written, is fully in effect in 2014, it will certainly be better -- and healthier for all U.S. citizens -- than what we now have in the United States.

And that is good for all Americans: poor, middle class or rich; Democrat, independent, Republican or libertarian; progressive, liberal, moderate or conservative.

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