Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Momentum Continues To Build For True Health Care Reform

Both the Seattle Times and the Seattle P-I recently ran opinion pieces that articulate nicely what needs to be done to truly fix our health care system.

The Seattle P-I Editorial Board wrote,

"Truth be told, we already have a government-funded health care system; we just pretend we don't. There's this supposed mix of private and public insurance, but the fact is the U.S. government (you know, we, the taxpayers) spend nearly a quarter more for government health care programs than say, Canada (a country that is supposed to have government-controlled health care). And what do we get for our extravagant spending? A total mess."

Seattle Times Editorial Columnist Lance Dickie wrote,

"The public is way ahead of politicians on the need for change. Polls consistently show Americans favor expanded health-insurance coverage for all — by huge margins. The punch line has always been that their genuine enthusiasm for change is diminished by expectations of higher costs and reduced benefits for themselves. Turns out higher costs and degraded benefits are precisely what they are getting now."

America's health care problem isn't the result of a lack of money being spent. We spend, as a nation and as individuals, extravagant sums of money for health care (and get less in return). The problem is some individuals and businesses are paying into the health care system, and some individuals and businesses aren't -- creating huge economic burdens for both government and the private sector. On the other hand, if everybody paid their fair share, those of us who are paying now (including individuals, government and business) would see their costs reduced.

Until we get real health care reform, state employees will continue to be harmed economically. We need to make sure we're talking to politicians and to each other about how important this issue is. Folks in Vancouver can start by attending the Healthy Washington Caucus on Sept. 23rd. And WFSE members everywhere can get involved in the Health Care for America Now! campaign. -- Dennis

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