The "healthcare debate" in the U.S. is unbelievable to me. Having worked with sick and injured people for a good portion of my adult life, I've seen so many who have suffered needlessly and foregone appropriate, necessary medical care because they simply didn't have access to care. They respected the "system" and understood that, without "cash money," (or any realistic ability to obtain money to pay for care), they were not entitled to healthcare under our system.
This evening I heard an interview on Fresh Air with T. R. Reid, an international correspondent for the Washington Post, who has researched and personally experienced the heathcare systems of numerous countries. I would highly recommend everyone listen to this interview, from August 24, 2009, to learn a bit about how other developed countries provide healthcare coverage for everyone, while actually spending a much smaller percentage of their GDP on healthcare than the U.S.
If you can't listen to the interview, here is one of his recent articles from the Washington Post on the subject: (you may need to "sign up" with WP to view it, but it's quick, simple, and FREE, so why not?) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082101778.html
There are SO many problems with the health care system in the U.S.! I think the first, and biggest, problem is that we do not believe a basic ethical principle that nearly all developed nations believe: every human being has the right to basic health care, and that rich countries have a moral obligation to provide healthcare for everyone.
This nation was founded on principles of equality (laying aside the women and slavery issues), and it seems to fly in the face of this principle that only those of means, or noble birth, or certain positions, get to have access to necessary health care to lead decent lives!! This is not what our founding fathers would have seen as equality, I dare to venture.
I really hope that we get past whatever this supposed "debate" is really about, and get on with programs that move in the direction of eliminating the health care access gap among U.S. citizens--and that the people of this country recognize that access to basic health care is a fundamental human right.