The Editorials of E. Desiderius

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Universal Health Care: Massachusetts' Bold First Step

Today, tiny Massachusetts has once again tackled a serious social issue, long before the rest of the nation has even begun to address it. This time, the measure is universal health care. This author believes that government has an obligation and a mandate to provide her citizens with social services, especially to hard-working Americans who play by the rules. This author believes that risk can be collectivized, minimized and shared in the form of comprehensive social health insurance, and that society can and should extend a hand to the least fortunate. This author opposes single-payer “socialized” universal health care, however supports the eventual creation of a two-tiered system, with guaranteed universal access and coverage.

Thus, this author applauds both houses of the Massachusetts State Legislature, Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Ted Kennedy for crafting the nation’s first nearly universal health care plan [1] [2]. The plan does not socialize the system, yet provides multiple avenues to ensure coverage: raising revenue from business who do not provide coverage, encouraging and requiring the purchase of private insurance from those who can afford it, and covering those who are the most vulnerable and least able to pay for good coverage. And the plan does not create a situation where the standard of care in the state will be lowered dramatically, if at all.

The United States faces a serious health-care crisis. More than forty million people do not have comprehensive health insurance, and the American health care system is one of the most inefficient in the world. America spends more of her GDP than nations with universal health care (USA – almost 14%, Canada – around 9.5%), while not covering a large segment of society. It is refreshing that Massachusetts has stepped up to fill a void where the federal government has failed. This bill represents a historic first for the United States and a bold first step by a progressive, forward leaning state to create what has so long been missing in US domestic policy.

-E. Desiderius

-Full Disclosure: This author was born in Massachusetts.

NY Times – Massachusetts Sets Health Plan For Nearly All
Boston Globe – Mass Bill Requires Health Insurance

Posted by George Gordon | Tuesday, April 04, 2006 | E-mail this post

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