13 January 2007

Single-payer for Ohio

Kevin Eigelbach at The Cincinnati Post quoted 78-year-old Dr. Donald L. Rucknagel, former director of the Sickle Cell Center at Children's Hospital, as to why on earth we don't have a single-payer system here in the United States.

Dr. Rucknagel, writes Eigelbach, "has a very unscientific theory about why people - other than those with a vested interest in the present system - oppose government-funded health insurance:

"In addition to the 12 already discovered, there are two cranial nerves in the human brain. Mention the words government or taxes, and the two nerves shut the brain down.

"It's the only explanation. The arguments for single-payer, universal health care are just too compelling."

Single-payer simply means that you don't have to work for a big corporation or lie to an HMO or insurance company in order to get too-expensive insurance. You'd pay less into one fund, just like everyone else in the country, and when you went to the doctor of your choice, the payment would come out of that fund.

Dr. Rucknagel tells Eigelbach that lobbying Health Care for All Ohioans is the most important work of his life.

Dr. Rucknagel and Single-Payer Action Network Ohio, the group behind the act, estimates there would be $11.6 billion in cost savings in Ohio alone from having all claims paid by a single payer, plus the savings from making preventative care more accessible.

As for our current set-up, Dr. Rucknagel asks, "What good is it to have all this medical care if people can't afford it?"

SPAN Ohio has a quote on their website worth remembering, especially for responding to those confused Social Darwinists (otherwise known as free-market ideologues). It's from family farm advocate and poet Wendell Berry:

Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.

No comments: