The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

​A Republican universal health care plan?


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 18, 2017 - 6:31 PM

Turns out, most people actually like Obamacare, once they understand what it actually is and want to keep the individual provisions of it.

U.S. businesses are unfairly hamstrung by increasingly expensive insurance costs for employees and retirees that their global competitors aren't. Universal health care is clearly pro-business. Medicare (government administered health care) has an overhead cost of about 1 percent versus the 20 percent that private for-profit medical insurance has.

We've heard the Republican talking points, objections and the nightmare stories of long lines, “rationing,” poor service, lack of innovation, reduced research and development, etc. in countries with “socialized” medicine. Republicans say that there won't be innovation or R&D. Well, for the most part, research and development is government-funded, certainly at the basic science level while more equally government and privately funded at the clinical levels.

If we had a taxpayer-funded universal health care system, then we'd be all over the causes of costly illnesses. We might stop subsidizing corn as much and start subsidizing other vegetables. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc...  all of the causes of those diseases would be examined, and we'd take steps to end them, not just treat them, because it will cost less. We'd demand a better supply of food, fewer carcinogens in the environment, etc., and then we'd have less obesity, heart disease, cancer, etc., and that would cost less in health care.

One sure way to guarantee, maybe the only way to guarantee, that any universal health care plan would be the best in the world would be to require all elected representatives in Washington, as well as every cabinet member or government appointee, to have the same coverage as a retired coal miner in West Virginia, a ranch hand in Montana, farm worker in California or any other average American.  

That would make our medical coverage the best in the world. So, why isn't this a Republican position?

Tom Finnegan

Sharpsburg