Re Kathleen Parker’s June 29 column, “What’s ailing healthcare? Partisanship, of course:” The central thesis seems to be that the downsides of the proposed Senate health plan would be offset by its benefits.
Some of the downsides: The plan would hurt millions who rely on Medicaid; jeopardize preexisting conditions protection; make seniors pay proportionately more for coverage; take away pregnancy coverage; and other restrictions.
Some of the benefits? There would be tax relief for the wealthy (possibly the prime motivation for the Senate and House plans); a reduction in insurance premiums in the long run; and a relatively small yearly reduction in the federal budget.
But Parker’s emphasis is on the Senate plan’s boost to our freedom of choice: its rollback of the individual mandate (“Don’t make me buy insurance”), removal of preexisting coverage (“I’m healthy, don’t make me pay more to cover the sick”), and cuts to prenatal coverage (“I’m a man, why should I pay ...”).
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This appeal to the frontier, self-reliant spirit seems outdated in that the world is unimaginably more interconnected and complex than when folks built their own log cabins and shot game for food.
Healthcare is now supported mostly by insurance companies and governments, rather than families and neighbors. Should we revert to a “survival of the fittest” mentality when designing our health plans?
Maybe we should look to countries with more humane healthcare policies. The Danish, for example, were recently named the “happiest people in the world.”
Joel E. Ross,