Sunday, September 16, 2007

Joe's health care prescription deadly

In a recent edtion of The Oakland Press, Joe Knollenberg trots out the same old tired line about socialized medicine and "evil" trial lawyers. I issue a challenge to Joe Knollenberg, go with me to see Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko, then say that universal, single-payer health care doesn't work and that private enterprise does it better. It is common knowledge that Medicare does work extremely efficiently and their administrative costs are 2-3%, compared to 25-30% for the private health insurance industry. Another problem with Joe's plan, there are 47 million uninsured people in the country and more joining the rolls every day. Over 50% of the bankruptcies in this country occur due to medical emergencies caused by medical bills of people who had insurance.

I recently interviewed Adrian Campbell on my community television show. Adrian is a 25-year old woman who contracted ovarian cancer and had to go to Canada to get treatment, because her health plan refused coverage, saying 22-year-olds (she was 22 when she was diagnosed) don't get ovarian cancer. Then, to make matters worse, because she was in the movie, she was fired by her employer.

If Joe Knollenberg thinks his plan to offer a tax credit to employers for offering a wellness program is the solution, I dare him to walk a mile in Adrian's shoes. Why don't you come on my show with Adrian, Joe, and tell her how well your plan for a tax credit for an employer wellness program will work for her? I dare you, Joe.

According to the web site National Priorities for the cost of what we have spent in the 9th Congressional District of Michigan in 2007 on the war in Iraq, we could have provided health care to 121,000 citizens.

According to the Institute of Medicine, "lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage." Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations, Institute of Medicine, January 2004.

Quit blowing smoke up our butts, Joe. Universal, single-payer health care does work and it's time for America to take care of its citizens instead of fighting an ill-conceived war that President Bush lied us into for profits from the Iraqi oil fields.

Yet this is all Joe can say on health care.

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