Viewpoint: Raising a few health care doubtsRecently, a writer identified as a physician who once worked in the Veterans Administration health care system, sang the praises of government run health care systems.
By: Thomas St. Martin, Viewpoint Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
Recently, a writer identified as a physician who once worked in the Veterans Administration health care system, sang the praises of government run health care systems.
In reply, I must first emphasize that I do not intend to enter into another predictably futile argument relative to the merits of VA medicine or, more specifically, Medicare, that generous, benevolent government program which recently considered a ten percent cut in reimbursements to health care providers.
I do, however, want to comment on several of the writer’s remarks. First, I do not recall advocating a “status quo” approach to America’s health care problems.
Although I have forcefully argued that government run health care is not a good thing, I have not said that the present system is perfect or that reforms are not necessary.
Perhaps the writer did not read my comments carefully. Or perhaps he thought that, by misrepresenting my views, he could strengthen his own arguments.
Second, and more importantly, what of those 47 million uninsured Americans? This value — a convenient and intimidating propaganda tool — is considered authoritative, coming as it does from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Unfortunately, however, few people bother to look beyond the gross number. If they did, they would find that about a quarter of the uninsured are said to be non-citizens; that about nine percent involve households with incomes of $75,000 or greater; and that a large proportion are young people who probably don’t think they need health insurance and/or who have neglected to sign up for programs that are available.
There is, of course, much more to be said about the composition of the uninsured population.
Nevertheless, I hope that I have said enough to raise a few doubts and, beyond that, to encourage hard nosed analysis of the undigested statistics used by advocates of government run health care.
St. Martin is a resident of Woodbury.