Putting U.S. health care into outpatient

By Paul Schmitt

For those beautiful, spacious skies and those amber waves of grain, for those downtrodden citizens of the world’s greatest country comes a message of hope.

For years I’ve sat in classes and listened to those plebian liberal screams about the tyranny we globally impose, the uninhabitable environment that we breathe and drink in, the despotic and neglectful governance that we are collectively subjected to.

This pontification has extended to every issue, attacking mom, apple pie and Cadillacs, respectively.

However, the most blatantly demagogic of these issues, perpetuated by legions of Democrats and their candidates, must be health care reform.

The proponents of Hillary-care, massive health care reform, or universal health care are of a perplexing nature. Spewing vile stories of uninsured children, uninsured families and uninsured friends, these politicians exploit the plights and pitfalls of lower income Americans to implement massive new programs, nostalgic of the highly successful “great society” days.

Certainly health care reform is an issue worth solving – according to The Washington Post, health care accounted for 16 percent of the nation’s economic output in 2006.

However, instead of treating the root causes of an expensive health care system – ridiculous insurance rates for corporations and malpractice suits are a good start – those advocates of universal coverage prefer to address the 46.6 million symptoms: the number of uninsured Americans in 2004.

In Illinois the worst of these demagogues is certainly Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In order to pay for his new insurance program that covers all children in the state (creatively named “All Kids”), Blagojevich is promoting the expansion of casino gambling and preying on the vices and disposable incomes of vulnerable citizens.

Sadly enough, at times these glittery gambling establishments often aren’t limited to strictly disposable income, creating addictions that the state certainly will pay for in the long run.

Instead of supporting tort and malpractice lawsuit reform, these politicians attack insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry, opting to kneel at the feet of trial lawyer lobbies.

While these sources account for a plethora of dollars, the finger pointing fails to point out that many of these industries re-invest in themselves, attempting to better services and fund lifesaving research on progressive, new medicines.

Overall, those on the Democratic side of the aisle seem to miss the trees for the forest, overlooking the antagonists of the drama for the sexier issues at hand – an evil industry bent on bankrupting the country, one checkup at a time.

As Americans continue to face major health issues now caused by obesity and unhealthy, inactive lifestyles, we certainly need to examine potential practical solutions to this pressing problem.

A look at the slew of other advanced industrialized nations who have implemented universal health care systems renders a common list of afflictions: long waiting lists, government rationing of prescription medicines and substandard care.

As we sit now, Americans enjoy superior health care, yet we pay for it. It would be illogical and ill-conceived for the country to sacrifice the high standards of treatment that we have achieved in lieu of exploring more sensible alternatives.

In Massachusetts, former Gov. Mitt Romney was able to implement a health care system that worked for his state – a system that insured more than 95 percent of the state’s citizens but didn’t require a raise in taxes. Of course, such achievement is likely only possible on a state level and even that isn’t encouraging for states with political climates like Illinois’.

Looking at the great potential for health care in the United States, all certainly can agree that something must be done. As corporations and businesses dump their health care plans and the calls for the government to pick up the slack grow louder, policy is likely to be decided soon.

On the other hand, asinine big-government programs that do nothing to discourage the root problems inherent in the system is a decision that must be avoided at all costs.

Of course, were the pharmaceutical companies to develop a drug to cure our litigious society, many of our symptoms would themselves vanish.