The American College of Physicians (ACP) in the last few weeks has proposed that a superior health care system in the United States cannot be without universal health insurance coverage.
The ACP analyzed health care in twelve industrialized countries; and the full report appears in the January 01, 2008 edition of the "Annals of Internal Medicine".
The ACP sees problems in the United States in terms of the lack of affordable health care coverage, lack of a sufficient number of primary care physicians, increasing health care costs and a prohibitively expensive bureaucracy. Yet the United States spends more on healthcare compared to other countries, and these costs are rising faster than other costs in our economy. Despite this, about 47 million Americans are uninsured.
The ACP wants universal health insurance, easy access to health information for patients, an increase in the number of primary care providers, patient-centered medical care, financial incentives for primary care physicians to ensure the best care, a uniform billing system, a federally funded health information system and more research.
The ACP is demanding from this year's presidential candidates that decisive action be taken to provide the best health care for the United States. With the nominating elections and caucuses upon us, the candidates want you and I to know that they have the answers to the health care dilemma facing this country.
Hillary Clinton has a plan which would cost $110 billion yearly, and which would be funded through tax breaks and subsidies. John Edwards proposes a $120 billion dollar a year plan which would force private companies, the government and individuals to share responsibility for obtaining health care coverage. Barack Obama is proposing an insurance plan which provides coverage for all through the creation of a national public insurance program which would allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage; those in need would receive a subsidy for the premiums.
Among Republicans, Rudy Giuliani would provide insurance which would be affordable to the lower income individuals and families. He also wants to end frivolous law suits. Mitt Romney wants to expand and deregulate the private insurance market, and wishes to offer tax breaks and other incentives to those without health insurance.
Obama has proposed negotiations with health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, which some observers feel is naïve. These observers believe that health care problems in the United States are due to these very same companies; it is their belief that only confrontation will reduce the huge profits which lead to obscene wastefulness in our health care system.
And who said socialized medicine is a dirty word from the past?
Published On: January 07, 2008