Thursday, January 25, 2007

Barack Obama on Health Care

people say they don't know what Mr. Obama stands for. i say read his books, visit his web site.
here's a portion of his BRILLIANT speech made today:
Well we can't afford another disappointing charade in 2008. It's not only
tiresome, it's wrong. Wrong when businesses have to layoff one employee because
they can't afford the health care of another. Wrong when a parent cannot take a
sick child to the doctor because they cannot afford the bill that comes with it.
Wrong when 46 million Americans have no health care at all. In a country that
spends more on health care than any other nation on Earth, it's just wrong. And
yet, in recent years, what's caught the attention of those who haven't always
been in favor of reform is the realization that this crisis isn't just morally
offensive, it's economically untenable. For years, the can't-do crowd has scared
the American people into believing that universal health care would mean
socialized medicine and burdensome taxes - that we should just stay out of the
way and tinker at the margins. You know the statistics. Family premiums are up
by nearly 87% over the last five years, growing five times faster than workers'
wages. Deductibles are up 50%. Co-payments for care and prescriptions are
through the roof. Nearly 11 million Americans who are already insured spent more
than a quarter of their salary on health care last year. And over half of all
family bankruptcies today are caused by medical bills.But they say it's too
costly to act. Almost half of all small businesses no longer offer health care
to their workers, and so many others have responded to rising costs by laying
off workers or shutting their doors for good. Some of the biggest corporations
in America, giants of industry like GM and Ford, are watching foreign
competitors based in countries with universal health care run circles around
them, with a GM car containing twice as much health care cost as a Japanese car.
But they say it's too risky to act. They tell us it's too expensive to cover the
uninsured, but they don't mention that every time an American without health
insurance walks into an emergency room, we pay even more. Our family's premiums
are $922 higher because of the cost of care for the uninsured. We pay $15
billion more in taxes because of the cost of care for the uninsured. And it's
trapped us in a vicious cycle. As the uninsured cause premiums to rise, more
employers drop coverage. As more employers drop coverage, more people become
uninsured, and premiums rise even further. But the skeptics tell us that reform
is too costly, too risky, too impossible for America. Well the skeptics must be
living somewhere else. Because when you see what the health care crisis is doing
to our families, to our economy, to our country, you realize that caution is
what's costly. Inaction is what's risky. Doing nothing is what's impossible when
it comes to health care in America.It's time to act. This isn't a problem of
money, this is a problem of will. A failure of leadership. We already spend $2.2
trillion a year on health care in this country. My colleague, Senator Ron Wyden,
who's recently developed a bold new health care plan of his own, tells it this
way: For the money Americans spent on health care last year, we could have hired
a group of skilled physicians, paid each one of them $200,000 to care for just
seven families, and guaranteed every single American quality, affordable health
care. So where's all that money going? We know that a quarter of it - one out of
every four health care dollars - is spent on non-medical costs; mostly bills and
paperwork. And we also know that this is completely unnecessary. Almost every
other industry in the world has saved billions on these administrative costs by
doing it all online. Every transaction you make at a bank now costs them less
than a penny. Even at the Veterans Administration, where it used to cost nine
dollars to pull up your medical record, new technology means you can call up the
same record on the internet for next to nothing.