By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
I'm not as thrilled with the O'budget on health care as on education. Nationalized health care has been a disaster for the middle class wherever it exists. Yes it gives access to the deeply impoverished, but at the expense of the middle class. The rich can always buy their way out of any health care system and get the best of care. Here's what the Obama administration will do:
Obama's prescription for the nation's ailing health care system comes with Medicare cuts and tax hikes. Obama is asking Congress: If you're going to cover 48 million uninsured Americans in the world's costliest medical system, how do you pay for it? His plan would set aside $634 billion over 10 years in a major effort to cover all Americans - a goal that could cost more than $1 trillion. Half would come from tax increases on upper-income earners, half from cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
The only reason Canada's health care system works, for example, is that 90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border and they come here for urgent needs. A personal friend whose sister is Canadian brought her sister here for a brain C-T scan. The waiting list in Canada was six months long, due to its wonderful nationalized health care system. Her sister had a brain tumor and needed a scan and surgery immediately. If not for America's more limber system, her sister would have died waiting for treatment in Canada.
Another friend is Italian by birth. His sister still lives in Italy. She has an illness that requires expensive medication. The Italian healthcare system doles out her pills three days at a time. So every three days she must go to the local health care center and wait for hours for her next three days-worth of medicine. Would Americans stand for that? I don't think so.
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By Bonnie Erbe