Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
Learning about the Obama administration's decision to allow businesses to delay full implementation of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare employer mandates to provide health insurance coverage didn't exactly surprise me. For a very long time now, corporate interests in the United States have taken precedence over individual human rights. Corporate profits, or even more directly the fear of somehow diminishing corporate profits, trumps fears over allowing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies every year in America related to the lack of a universal health system.
I often hear the word universal bandied about as if providing the ability to purchase widely and wildly unequal health insurance coverage was the same as having equal access to needed health care. It isn't. Ask any patient who has struggled with a variety of health coverage situations to tell you how different coverage can be from one plan to another, and then extrapolate that out to the wider insured population if you'd really like to understand the morass that is the US health insurance situation.
So long as we are working on implementing a system that is not providing universal health care to all, then it is just not all that surprising to find that the implementation is happening in fits and starts and is unequal in its requirements. If we were implementing, as we should be, an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life system, it would as remarkably simple as it would be universal and equal. What a relief that would be for millions of people who have long struggled against a system that barters human life for money.
I do find it moderately amusing that under the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, corporations are to be given equal free speech rights through unlimited financial contributions to political campaigns but under other circumstances such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare insurance mandates, corporations are to be given higher privileges than individuals as they are allowed the delay. Look only to who is celebrating the decision for your answers about who benefits most, and in the case of these decisions, the US Chamber of Commerce has been and is elated.
Here's what I said in the Denver Post this morning about the subject:
"Giving big business a year longer than individual citizens on the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare insurance mandates seems to show this administration's continued willingness to favor corporate interests over those of the average citizen," said Donna Smith, executive director of Health Care for All Colorado, which argues for a universal health coverage system going further than Obamacare.
"Giving big business a pass is showing insensitivity to the realities of our dysfunctional health system," Smith said.
Read more: Employer mandate of health care law delayed until 2015 - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_23589015/employer-mandate-health-care-law-delayed-until-2015#ixzz2Y0NoMVMt
The day will come when we will celebrate achievement of health care as a human right and a public good. Here in Colorado, we are advancing our educating and advocating around a citizens' ballot initiative that would do just that. If you'd like donate, that would be great And if you'd like to endorse our efforts. that would be wonderful too.
You see, health care isn't one of those business issues that ought to allow human life to be valued and devalued based on other economic pressures. Access to health care when it is needed -- as a human need -- must be treated as a human right and a public good. Universal means universal and everybody must be in, nobody left out.
Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:
The 2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-industrial -complex system dead: 22,519
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 360,984
** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-related bankruptcies from that number.http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/endorse_right_to_health_care
Follow Donna Smith's blog at: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/
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