Millions of Americans lack health insurance. Millions of other Americans have such bad insurance plans that they still can’t afford to go to the doctor’s office.
President Obama is attempting to fulfill his campaign promise of health care reform by making plans. Basically, his goal is to lower health costs, making it more affordable to small businesses and individuals.
To pay for the health care reform, several taxes are being considered. The Senate Finance Committee is considering taxing insurance. Also, they’re considering putting a federal tax on alcohol and soda.
Taxing alcohol and soda is understandable, but only if everyone benefits from the health care reform.
In Obama’s inauguration speech, he told the American public that he’s dedicated to fixing America’s problems but we also have to be dedicated. He warned that some things might be unpleasant in order to secure a positive outcome.
Alcohol and soda cause many health problems: liver damage, obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and many, many others. Just as many current health care plans charge cigarette smokers an extra premium because they’re more likely to use the health care due to their unhealthy lifestyle, the government wants to tax alcohol and soda. Only, the taxes would go toward the collective rather than individual health care plan.
The biggest criticism of the health care reform is that many experts speculate that we’ll end up paying more for insurance. Especially with them considering to start taxing insurance, that may indeed be the case.
Instead of drafting a new health care policy, we ought to look toward other countries that have better health care than we currently have.
According to World Health Organization’s Health Report, as of 2000 data, the United States is ranked 37th in world’s health systems. France, who has universal health care, is first on the list. I recently spoke with a woman from France who was amazed that Americans have to debate whether or not they’re sick enough to warrant a doctor’s visit.
She said that in France, if you’re sick you go to the doctor’s for a checkup without a second thought.
Yes, universal health care is widely opposed by Americans, but usually those same Americans have health care. They selfishly don’t care about the masses that may not have coverage that is as good as theirs. Due to the economic crisis, many have lost their jobs and therefore their insurance and might be able to now see the benefits of universal health care.
Taxes are always unpopular, including the proposed alcohol and soda tax. The government might as well go all the way and put it toward universal health care rather than just a reform that may or may not be beneficial. At least universal health care would ensure that everyone had access to a doctor when they need one. If they focus on the undisputed benefits, they might just sway the American people.
The alcohol and soda tax needs to be backed up with a health care plan that ensures that everyone in the U.S. is covered with decent insurance, regardless to whether you’re a CEO or a McDonald’s cashier or unemployed. Health care should be a basic human right. The availability of different insurance plans gives certain people’s health greater value than others. If we are indeed a country of equality, our health care should reflect that.