Why The US Needs A Public Option For Health Care

The United States’ health care system currently ranks #37 in the world. The US is #50 in life expectancy. The only thing that the US ranks #1 at is how much money the country spends on health care!

Clearly there’s something wrong with our current system. The status quo is completely unacceptable (and the status quo is exactly what the Republicans/health insurance companies are fighting for.)

Not only do 50 million Americans not have health insurance but many of those who do have health insurance are “under-insured” and because so many people depend on their job for their health insurance, they would be out of luck in a hurry if they lost their job (and due to the recession just about anyone can lose their job these days.)

Thousands of people die every year because of the faults of our current health care system and many hundreds of thousands go bankrupt. The US has a bankruptcy rate of nearly 20 times that of the UK (which has a national health care program just like every other western country in the world) and that is almost entirely because of our health care system.

At the rate things are going now, our country will be bankrupt because of the health insurance industry scam (and that’s exactly what it is, a scam.) The idea that we can continue down this road without huge reform is absolutely insane, yet that’s exactly what the Republicans want us to do.

They don’t care how many people die because they can’t afford insurance or because their health insurance company takes away their insurance when they need it most (and this happens very frequently, if this aspect was in the news more perhaps people would understand the importance of health care reform?) All they care about is if their fat cat health insurance CEO buddies can keep making millions of dollars every year at the expense of sick people.

This all leads us to why we need a “public option” included in health care reform. While a “single payer” system (true universal health care) would be ideal, I think a strong “public option” is a reasonable compromise.

It will help bring down costs while insuring many millions more people. It will help make the private insurance companies more “honest” because they’ll have some real competition.

Everyone wins with the “public option” except for the private health insurance industry. They will lose some of their profitability because they won’t be able to gouge their customers and take away their health care and all of the other dirty tricks they’ve been up. Personally, I don’t think that’s a loss!

About the Author

Jake Topp thinks it’s important to note that most doctors support health care reform. Topp believes that the public option is vital to move the country’s health care system forward although he would prefer a single payer health care system.

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