Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scott Walker: wrong for WI health care

How is it that we are satisfied with a system of health care in this country that kills more than seven times the number killed on September 11 every year?

I ask that question because I am disgusted. I am fed up with the conservatives in this country who want to assure me that “socialized medicine” is the greatest evil we face today from Democrats in Washington. When we talk about this “evil,” however, we neglect the evils that are perpetrated daily in order to preserve the status quo for health insurance companies, who are more concerned with making a profit rather than helping those they supposedly serve.

I write this in conjunction with a statement I recently read on the internet. While perusing Scott Walker’s election website (the Milwaukee County Exec is running for governor), I came across this anecdote regarding the health care crisis we currently face:

“We must make quality, affordable healthcare available to hardworking families, through market based solutions like competition, transparency, and tax incentives, not Canadian style programs that put bureaucrats in charge of your health care decisions. You should be able to choose your doctor, not have government make that decision for you.”

It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt more disgusted than after reading that comment.

Walker wants market based solutions to fix the crisis? Market based solutions helped FORM the crisis! It’d be like fighting a fire with a tank of gasoline. In other words, it’s not going to solve anything.

Over 45 million Americans are currently uninsured. That’s nearly one in every six persons. In 2007, eight million children were uninsured. In 2000, 18,000 deaths were linked to people not having insurance. In 2006, that number shot up to 22,000, with nearly 140,000 deaths occurring between the years. That’s what we have gotten through the market based solutions that Scott Walker is proposing.

Walker states, in so many words, that a public option would place bureaucrats in charge of whether we can see a doctor or not. But we have that through the current system today! Patients are routinely told that medical procedures are too expensive to warrant them the health they’re paying for, and preexisting conditions prevent millions of Americans from getting the preventative care they need. How’s THAT for a market based solution?

A market based health care system in no way benefits the people; rather, it benefits corporations that are looking to make a profit. So long as profit is involved, the corporations that are meant to provide us with care will not do so, pinching every penny they can pinch in order to make that extra buck – at your health’s expense.

Do we really want to go on supporting such a system of health care? Do we really want a governor who supports such a system? The answer is a resounding no: 72 percent of Americans support a public option.

Are we all communists, then? Of course not. But clearly we all believe a market based approach to health care is not what’s best. Maybe someone should tell Scott Walker that.

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