In other news, in case you've been under a rock, our presidential debate is getting rather heated. For once I'd like to have a candidate that didn't bash the other, but hey, I guess that's just asking a little too much for some plain old' human integrity. What I DO care about, hoowever, is the National Health Care Debate. Nothing makes me madder than a hornet to hear about children who are refused needed care because they don't have insurance. We have a moral obligation to help others in need. Being a Christian, I know that I will be held to a higher standard than someone who is not, and I can educate myself, pay my taxes, tithe and use my own resources/talents to give to those in need, and pray. I do not believe in the Religious Right or the Looney Left, just for the record. Both candidates have wonderful and awful things about them both, BUT neither candidate can argue that our country is in dire need to insure those who aren't.
The two biggest categories of uninsured are typically 20somethings (usually out of college-27 yr. old) and children under 18. Almost 50 million of them. That is a huge number as the older group will have children in the future, bringing that number to an even bigger number and our tax dollars even higher when we have to pay for their care, the hospitals have to charge more to people who DO have insurance, and so do the doctors.
Another reason this is a ridiculous situation is because of litigation. Doctor's can barely spend more than 20 minutes with each patient (and even that is sometimes unusually long) because they have to meet their daily quotas from their insurance. Their malpractice insurance has skyrocketed because some people think that small mistakes are worth 60 million dollars. Obviously, if during a medical procedure, the attending screwed up something big, halting you from your job or what-have-you, I think they should be sued too. But who needs over 30 million dollars for having a finger chopped off? People, don't send your kids to McDonald's if they are overweight and then blame everyone else! ((Sorry, off on a tangent, but it is also why our medical insurance is so high)) Medical litigation needs capping.
Back to my magazines, I regularly get the somewhat cheesy Parents magazine, and generally just toss it aside, but in the YOUR CHILD section: HEALTH I noticed a very interesting (an 'above and beyond' Parents' magazine) article about an interview with an M.D. about the health care crisis. This magazine is fairly conservative (it is a family mag after all and generally does not work politics into the margins) and so I was pretty interested in what Irwin Redlener, M.D., president and cofounder of The Children's Health Fund, had to say. You can go here to read the article (I really encourage you to, I know I'm already writing a novel, but stay with me here), but I am just going to give you some numbers (all quoted from Parents' magazine):
- Since 2001, There has been a 78% increase in the cost of health-insurance premiums.
- $11.5 billion dollars in the annual profit reported by the health-insurance industry.
- 71% of people are without insurance from families with at least one full time worker (my emphasis).
- 9.4 million kids under the age of 18 are without health insurance.
Ouch. Now here's where that RD article comes in. People are up in arms about the cost of socialized health care, but seriously? If McCain wins, he proposes a $2500 tax break for single, $5000 for married couples to help pay for insurance, if the insurance is cheaper, the rest will go into a health fund they may withdraw. I do not know his timeframe. If Obama wins, he proposes to let the tax break for bracket $250,000+ expire to pay for government health care and wants to do it within the next 3 years, and no pre-existing conditions. (This is an estimated $50-60 billion to pay for it.) As far as that article goes, this program could literally pay for itself if Capitol Hill got themselves some decent book keepers, sheesh.
What do y'all think? Which issues get your button pushed?