Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are their drawbacks to your choice?
I believe with all my being that ALL people in the United States have the right to medical care, both physical and mental health care. I also believe that access to medical care should be provided by the government under a single payer system rather than by people paying through the private sector what they can afford.
The private sector payer system is not equal for all people and is not affordable by all people. It is a hardship for many people who therefore don’t have access to medical care for reasons of affordability or because they have a pre-existing condition that makes the health insurance too expensive. Some people just can’t afford the rates for family coverage which cost much more than individual coverage and the IRS rules prohibit writing off family coverage on taxes, which is ridiculous, in my opinion.
The only truly fair way to ensure that all people receive adequate physical and mental health coverage is for the government to provide that insurance and ensure that it is affordable. That means that it must be subsidized by the government and paid for by taxes. Yes, that means that taxes must increase, but sometimes we must pay for necessary things in our society. Maybe we need this more than new battleships or pork projects in some senators’ districts.
The president is concerned about mental health issues and gun control. As it is now, even in his watered-down health reform plan, mental health is not addressed. His health plan does not make health care affordable to most people. It makes it mandatory but not affordable. It needs to be affordable and government needs to be involved.
And mental health needs to be part of the plan. It needs to be integrated into the comprehensive package. It isn’t a frill or an add-on. It is a necessity. In most private insurance plans, mental health care is very limited. The number of doctor visits or length of hospital stays are limited by the insurance companies, as if mental illness can be defined or “cured” in a certain time period. This thinking needs to change if we are truly to address the problem of mental illness in the United States, if we are serious about mental health.
I know that many people will not agree with me about this issue and say that government can’t handle medical care efficiently. I think if we were to fund it sufficiently that it could. There are models in other countries. We pay doctors far too much money and require them to pay far too much in malpractice insurance. The cost of medical school is too high. The whole system is broken and needs to be fixed. But the system needs to be repaired if all people are to ever receive adequate health care in the United States.