Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The U.S. Government Wants To Reform Healthcare?

Maybe They Should Reform Their System First

On June 14, I read a story from Associated Press Writer Mary Clare Jalonick entitled “PROMISES, PROMISES: Indian health care needs unmet”. It related the difficulties, if not outright impossibility of Native Americans receiving even the most basic health care services promised to them by the United States government.

According to data in Census 2000, “4.3 million people, or 1.5 percent of the total U.S. population, reported that they were American Indian and Alaska Native”. The Indian Health Service system, serves almost 2 million American Indians in 35 states.

Granted, not all of this Native American population lives on their national (tribal for you who don't know better) reservations, but, a large portion does, and the healthcare they have been promised by the United States is dismal at best. The wealthier nations that have casinos for example, are able to better provide for the health care needs of their people, but those that do not, and are in more remote areas of the country can not. Many of the “treaty” promises of health care for Native Americans go back as far as 1787, and are far from being fulfilled. In fact, the stoy relates that “ About one-third more is spent per capita on health care for felons in federal prison”, and that on many reservations they say "don't get sick after June," when the federal dollars run out.

Now the Federal government has declared the health care system in the United States “broken”, and congress at the urging of President Obama is working to “take over” (nationalize) health care. Now, the population of the United States is 303,824,640 people. If the Federal government (through the Indian Health Service, with a $3.6 billion this budget year) can not provide adequate health care for 2 million Americans, what makes the rest of you think that the remaining 301 million are going to fare any better?

If the money runs out for The Native Americans in June, what makes you think the government will do a better job for the rest of us? I have sincere doubts that they can. They haven't been able to run Social Security and Medicare correctly, so what makes anyone think they can do better with health care?

Will we end up with a system like that in the United Kingdom, where the average citizen is limited to a the government run health system, while the wealthy citizen can opt for private care?

Its already happening with our unfortunate Native American citizens. Why should we expect any better?

© Copyright 2009 Steve Smith. All rights reserved.

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