Thursday, October 23, 2008

California Nurses: US health system as broken as the banks

TOM BROKAW: Healthcare ; privilege, right, or responsibility?
Responsibility -- for every American. (Bad answer. Obama should say: "It's a right!"- - because it is everywhere else in the developed world)
I think it should be a right for every American. (Yes!) For sick to have to argue with insurance companies, that's fundamentally wrong.
Above dialogue is an excerpt from my quick jot-transcript (with commentary) of the town hall presidential debate. Not surprisingly, the California Nurses Association endorsed the candidate who believes health care is a "right." CNA is the largest organization of nurses in the United States.** In a recent press release the organization proposes that the cure for America's ailing health delivery system would look similar to the one recently applied to the failing banking system:
On the heels of reports that the Bush administration is considering taking part ownership of U.S. banks, the nation's largest union of registered nurses today said why can't the nation have a similar approach for our collapsing healthcare system?

. . . "If we can bail out the financial speculators and the banking CEOs, why can't we do the same for the tens of millions of Americans facing bankruptcy and healthcare calamity due to the meltdown of our healthcare system?" DeMoro asked. "If it's good enough for Wall Street, why leave out the rest of America?"

Through the simple, cost-effective approach of improving and expanding Medicare to cover everyone, the U.S. could effectively nationalize the financing of healthcare delivery, a single-payer system, while leaving intact the mostly private system of hospitals and doctors.

An OECD study found that the US ranks last among industrialized nations surveyed in "preventable" deaths. As the economy tanks, the pressures on the dysfunctional US health system will likely increase.
** It has a website dedicated to exposing the way the US health system actually functions called Guaranteed Healthcare.

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