Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Presbys for Health Care

One our FPCE members, Susan Allen, wrote a letter for the Johnson City Press. It was in today's paper. Thanks Susan!!
A recent editorial claimed the United States has the best health care in the world. Unfortunately that just isn’t true. We do have the best emergency and critical care. But the sad fact is that although we spend 16 percent of our gross domestic product on health care, far more than any other country, we rank below most other industrialized countries in the health outcomes (such as infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.) that demonstrate the quality of a country’s health care system.

Even poor struggling Cuba is roughly on a par with the United States in a number of health outcomes, despite Cuban hospitals and clinics commonly running out of medicines and essential supplies. What accounts for Cuba’s relative success in spite of these conditions is that, in sharp contrast to the United States, no one lacks routine preventive care, which catches illness at treatable levels.

Other more industrialized countries that definitely surpass the United States in health outcomes have excellent preventive care programs as well.

We know how it works. All medical professionals encourage preventive care. So why have we trended away from it, to the detriment of our overall health? Essentially, most of our shortsighted, excessively profit-minded health insurance companies, gambling with our lives, have deemed it too expensive to cover. Thankfully, the situation is different with Medicare or else our health outcomes would be worse.

The Health Care Reform Act provides that by 2014 all insurance plans must include preventive care. Yet Republicans want to repeal it and institute so-called common sense provisions that do not ensure universal preventive care.

Don’t let this happen. Think what covered preventive care would mean for your loved ones. We all know people who have died or who suffer greatly from illnesses that could have been cured or better controlled if detected earlier.

Call, e-mail or write your senators and representatives and urge them not to repeal the Health Care Reform Act.

SUSAN ALLEN
Elizabethton
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