Truthfully, I'm not sure I'm ready for universal care given that the government just doesn't do much of anything very well ["Experts Predict an Intense Battle Over Obama's Healthcare Reform," usnews.com]. But if we want to compare our healthcare systems, we just have to look at the results. Our life expectancy and infant mortality are not as high as most other industrialized countries that have universal care. There are a lot of factors that go into this like our multi-ethnic makeup, poverty, etc. But 40 million without care is not acceptable. I would prefer a more gradual approach like tax credits to cover premium costs and more competition so that small business can pool together to get competitively-priced health insurance.
Comment by Doug of CA
Focusing on primary and preventive care is nice HMO rhetoric but meaningless for people with acute, emergency, chronic, disabling and rare health problems. The last thing we need is a lowest common denominator "plan" to herd all low and middle-income people into assembly-line managed care. I have been there. It is the worst possible "solution" to the health care crisis.
Comment by Arthur Springer of NY
People need to take personal responsibility for their health. There are so many people who do not take care of themselves by not exercising, not eating properly and not going to checkups. If people took better actions to take care of themselves then our health care costs would go down. Also people need to realize what insurance is and what the definition is. Insurance is not designed to pay for all aspects of medical care. The problem with this mentality is that it encourages a not my money" syndrome. People need to look at it as their own money and make decisions based on that. If people took personal responsibility for their health and made thoughtful healthcare decisions, the cost of healthcare would be significantly less, and we would not need the government involved.
Comment by Sanjeev Acharya of CT
The theory of a free market economy is that I can shop among many providers, all competing to provide the most efficient service to meet my needs. Anyone try that with health insurance lately? Simply put, health care is not a commodity. You can choose whether to purchase commodities or not. You don't have that choice with health care. At some point in your life you will get sick and need care. Selling commodities can provide profit to the vendor. Providing long term, chronic care is not a profitable business unless you limit care. We do pay for universal coverage in this country, through a back door. We pay in worse health outcomes than Western Europe, chronic unmanaged disease and high emergency room costs to cover the uninsured.
Comment by Amy of AZ
There is no such thing as "free" health care. Every country that has adopted socialized medicine has higher taxes and longer waits due to limited access to care. These waits force people to draw on welfare while they wait, further driving up the cost of taxes. When comparing the cost of healthcare in the United States to other countries, we must include the costs of welfare in those countries. When that is done it becomes clear that our costs are actually less.
Comment by John of AR