Rising healthcare costs affect everyone
submitted by Kathleen Murtha
March 31, 2008 —
Regarding "Universal health plans are unfair" (March 10). I respond as a RN, SVSU student (MSN), and citizen. The author's overall message was that it is to his benefit (and society's) not to provide healthcare to all citizens.
I challenge you to consider the results of your proposal to deny basic healthcare; this is reality now for the underinsured/uninsured of Michigan. Presently, not-for-profit-hospitals cannot turn anyone away in the emergency room based on their ability to pay; despite your proposal, that would not change.
The key to good health is prevention; no smoking, healthy diet, exercise...and regardless of one's lifestyle, people still get sick. One without insurance waits, and eventually seeks care in the ER, expecting the healthcare staff to cure them in the most expeditious (and costly) way possible. Without having a regular health care provider and inability to pay for follow up visits and medications, the problem exacerbates and this person's First Amendment right to "pursuit of life" is nonexistent. The provision of healthcare for all children is the right and ethical thing to do, but how will that child's life be affected as a member of a family with sick members without healthcare? The ramifications are staggering. The cost is yours now as hospital costs soar to treat these uninsured/underinsured people, as well as new technology. In the meantime, the schism that divides the haves and the have-nots would widen, and the latter group will enlarge; the uninsured group includes all races, ages, levels of education, parties, and both genders ... and eventually even you or I.
The healthcare auspice chosen to initiate political discussion was interesting - but must include all views to facilitate responsible change for the good of all. The provision of equitable healthcare is an extremely difficult issue, as all are directly or indirectly affected. Be proactive and question candidates regarding health care issues and viability of proposed solutions. Investigate state and local leaders. SVSU alumnus, Bart Stupak (D), champions healthcare issues (particularly child coverage), and is an excellent resource.