Much debate exists today regarding the serious health care crisis with over 42 million Americans without health insurance and an aging population needing more health care dollars than ever before, meanwhile few solutions seem to be viable. While I do not wish to delve into the complexities of how to salvage our national health care system, I would like to shed some light on the magnitude of the human face to this looming crisis.
Many middle class Americans are no longer able to afford health insurance and they are rapidly joining the ranks of the uninsured in our society. We can not expect our low income families to afford nor prioritize health care expenses over other more pressing livelihood needs. Smaller businesses are clearly burdened by the overhead expenses of health insurance. In short, the burden of health care expense is becoming unbearable on many segments of our society.
As we consider all the complexities of this issue, we need to understand the vital need of providing the necessity of health coverage to every citizen irrespective of their financial or socio-economic situation. This is not necessary a call to socialized medicine, but it is one to inject a higher sense of responsibility in the actions of those who are the policy makers and the anchors of the health care industry.
The money invested in the health care system must remain and must be re-invested for the betterment of the health care system. It is egregious to see the profit margins of health insurance companies skyrocket without seeing any of those profits re-invested in the much needed services and needs of the insured. It borders on being criminal when the CEO of a health insurance company pockets more than a billion dollars in a retirement plan, while the health system he and other companies are milking is on the verge of collapse because of mounting expenses needed to provide the necessary services to attend to the health needs of a whole population. It is even more egregious when these diverted sums of money are re-compensated for in the form of higher insurance premiums and canceled services in the long term.
As we gain better insight in the complexities of this crisis, we must understand that it is more than just cents and dollars or free market versus government control. It is about restoring the privilege of health care to the people, it is about government policy to protect health services from business interests, it is about empowering health care providers and hospitals with the necessary control to do that which they have committed themselves to do best and it is about the eternal sense of responsibility to improve the human condition by securing its very basic needs.