Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For what it's worth: On Health Care

From Undernews, a piece by Rose McKinnon of the Medical Committee for Human Rights - "published almost forty years ago, in November 1971,when Dennis Kucinich was 24 years old. Those who consider him radical or impatient might want to bear this in mind."
(1) Health care should be universal. By this we mean that it should cover all people residing in the U.S. and should be treated as a right, rather than as a privilege; and must be available to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.

(2) Health care should be comprehensive, i. e., it must include all forms of care. It must not exclude drugs, dentistry, mental health care and preventive medicine, which to one extent or another, all of the present proposals exclude.

(3) Health care should be financed by national progressive taxation.

(4) Costs must necessarily be controlled in order to curtail the present run-away inflation; the increased demand a financing mechanism will generate would make such control imperative, and it is likely to involve government regulation of health-related industries.

(5) There should be no coinsurance, deductables, or other complex formulae, for these become almost incomprehensible, and tend to discourage the seeking of preventive care.

(6) The supply of health care must be expanded and a greater effort made to see that minority groups and women are adequately represented among every category of health care personnel; present imbalances must be eliminated.

(7) The health delivery system must be reorganized to produce a more efficient allocation of resources among and within geographical areas and cities.

(8) Last, and most important, there should be a much greater degree of public accountability within the health care system, so that those who receive care also have a part in controlling matters of quality, priorities and ethos (e.g.

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