Posted by: kellydh | October 5, 2007

What now for health insurance?

President Bush, as promised, has vetoed the S-CHIP bill. Sadly enough, I can’t say I’m surprised, but I also can’t say I know where to start with my utter disappointment in this move.

Seriously, President Bush: why? The bill garnered overwhelmingly deserved support in the Senate, only to be shot down by one of the few Americans that has no idea what it means to be faced with a true lack of health care and insurance. Will he ever know? Of course not.

Obviously, he didn’t read this article, and somehow failed to acknowledge the serious issue of un-insurability in this country.

The president had this to say in defense of his veto, as an explanation why explaining health care coverage for youth in our country is a bad thing:

“Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs. Their S-CHIP plan is an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American.”

Ummm…hate to break it to ya, but that’s almost exactly what I would say, word-for-word, in support of the bill. I suppose there is such a strong ideological divide that keeps me from seeing just how government-run health care for every American is actually a bad thing.

Inequities abound in our country when it comes to availability to health care.  It seems to me that health care is no longer a right, but a privilege enjoyed by a certain few.  Yes, I am very aware that I am counted among those privileged few.  But what of the future?  I look forward only a year and I can see that situation changing drastically.

Nearly 1/3 of Americans under 65 went without health insurance for a significant amount of time in the past few years, and the twentysomething age group is actually the least covered constituency in this country.  These people are no less American than upper class, white, straight businessmen, and they are valuable contributing members to society, yet are caught in the middle.  When did access to a the nearest McDonald’s become more of an American right than the chance to see a qualified physician?

I support the expansion of S-CHIP, more children need to have access to more-than-adequate health care.  However, expansion of health care availability needs to include all Americans.  Are we not all taught that we are each entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Life is a right, and by paying our dues to society (taxes in our culture), we rightfully expect some sense of meaningful return.

Plus, think of how many health care dollars could be saved just by switching to a preventative medicine mindset.  Literally, millions and millions of dollars per year.

President Bush, would you really deny your own children access to health care?


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