Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Words From My Dad On Healthcare

My Dad is now 82 years old and continues to write for his retiree groups newsletter. Last night i helped him with the following entry. The words are his, but the typing is mine- blame me for any spelling errors.

One of the biggest problems facing our nation is the disgraceful lack of healthcare coverage for our people .Although about 60% of our people get healthcare through an employer, nearly 40% do not have healthcare coverage. In emergencies, the uninsured are treated in the emergency rooms of our hospitals, which are funded largely through charges that New Jersey and other states require of their insurance companies. It is the most expensive method of treatment, thus we pay for the uninsured, either directly or indirectly.

Every year we hear people lamenting the facts that their co-pays are increasing, or their healthcare costs are increasing, or both are increasing. Yet we see advertizing about “miracle cures” on television or in newspaper ads.

The cost of healthcare has nearly doubled in the past seven years, according to one source, but the cost of living has increased about 23% in the same period. If I alleged that the cost of healthcare is out of control, few would dispute that assertion.

One of our biggest industries, the auto industry, is undergoing severe tests. Not only had the decision makers decided to make the profitable gas guzzlers but they are saddled with health care costs that are made much greater than those paid by their foreign competitors. We pay $1500 more per car for GM and Ford cars because the American automakers have to pay the healthcare costs of their employees. I believe that this is typical for all of our manufactured goods, and so American the companies bear a cost that manufacturers in Europe, Japan, and Taiwan do not have. It is not only low wages that give those countries a competitive advantage. At the end of World War II, many of those countries were burned out shells. Those of us who were there saw this with our own eyes. But America made a wrong turn fifty years ago and it’s costing us dearly. National health insurance is an absolute necessity if we are to compete with countries that subsidize their healthcare costs.

Congress is working on legislation to give our people the same benefit that arrived fifty years ago in Europe. Nearly every one of us has a friend or relative who would benefit from national healthcare. If we do not fight for this, our own healthcare will be more costly and eventually endangered. It is a fight that we must not lose. Those of us who currently have state paid healthcare plans are lucky, but when we are alone with good benefits how long will it be before the public wants to cut those benefits? America should be increasing healthcare benefits.

If not now, when?

Thanks Pop!

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