Linda Peeno is a medical physician who came out of the insurance world disgusted with what she both saw and was hired to do. In 1996, she testified before Congress, admitting that she denied vital health care to a man who later died, thus saving the company she worked for half a million dollars.
Let’s include everyone
Linda Peeno is a medical physician who came out of the insurance world disgusted with what she both saw and was hired to do. In 1996, she testified before Congress, admitting that she denied vital health care to a man who later died, thus saving the company she worked for half a million dollars. Peeno’s sad reflection on the nature of health insurance companies in this country is just one more reminder of the dismal state of our health care system.
The U.S. ranks 37th in the world in regards to quality of health care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This is both surprising and embarrassing for a country that boasts being a guiding light in the world for prosperity. To add insult to injury, not only do we suffer from a poor ranking, we also pay the most out of anyone in the world for health care. That’s right, we pay more for a suffering system.
Not only does the U.S. endure an appalling health care structure, over 46 million Americans don’t even receive health care to begin with. Whatever opinion one has of the current system in place, one thing is clear: the system is not working. Change needs to happen for the sake of our health, and to keep in line with our very own American ideals. The growing popularity of universal health care may just be our salvation.
Currently, health care in the U.S. is privatized; that is, it must be provided through an insurance company. This is becoming a growing concern as citizens realize how these companies fail to actually care for them. There are many testimonies of how “X” insurance company has refused treatment. With confessions like Peeno’s, it becomes more difficult to deny that the efforts of insurance companies are more invested in their profit than the well-being of the patient. How efficient can our health care be if health care is not the principle drive for our providers?
France currently holds the honor of giving the best health care in the world, according to WHO. France is followed by Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan, comprising the top 10. Looking at these countries, we may be able to decipher what they all have in common and how they accomplished this.
One aspect of health care that the top 10 nations utilize is some form of universal health care that makes use of socialized health care. Yes, I did indeed say, “socialized.” There is a common misconception that socialized medicine and universal health care are synonymous. Not true. Universal health care merely suggests providing care for all citizens. Not all of the leading countries use a 100-percent socialized system to do this, but all offer a plan to every citizen that includes basic medical coverage. This concept is nothing novel by far; medical personnel and politicians alike have debated it often over the years. Currently, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich both have placed universal health care as cornerstones of their presidential campaigns, though they have very different ideas on how to implement it.
Not only would universal health care be in our best interest, it is guaranteed to us within our very own American ideals. In the preamble of the United States Constitution, it clearly states the purposes for establishing our Constitution and forming our unique union, one of which is to “promote the general welfare.” To promote the general welfare means to provide protection of our health, happiness and prosperity. Why, then, today must we have this right provided to us only through corporations, and not the government representing us?
Some people may criticize the idea of universal health care. Many look to a country like Canada, citing the troubles they have experienced, or confusing universal care with socialized medicine, all while ignoring our own pending problems. The error in this argument is that many countries provide universal health care, but they don’t all provide it the same way, proving that there are many paths to a universal health care system.
As it becomes more evident that our current system is failing us, leaving many individuals uncared for, we can no longer leave this issue unattended. We must seek out better methods to secure our right to health. The logical mind would follow the examples laid before us by those who have succeeded, learning from their mistakes, so that one day the main motivation for our health care will be ethics, not numbers. When it comes down to it, not only is universal health care rooted in our country’s foundation, it is simply the right thing to do.