January 12, 2008
To the Editor:
A lot of words have been spoken about health care during this campaign, but I doubt anyone could describe what any particular plan would do for their family. Confusion reigns. The Republicans want to maintain the current system with a myriad of tax credits and deductions and subsidies. Democrats want “universal” health care, which provides you with insurance but no guarantee of access or affordability. Both maintain the private insurance industry, providing them a lot more customers but without any more regulation.
A simpler approach is evident in the bill which passed in the California Senate (but vetoed by Arnold). This called for a 7 percent payroll tax on every business and a 3 percent income tax — really a premium substitute assessment, since this would be your only health care expense. This approach would cover everyone with no co-pays, deductibles and especially no pre-existing conditions. You would never see a bill from your doctor or hospital.
Evidence-based medicine is how a doctor is supposed to practice today, and it makes a lot of sense to look at these guidelines followed by physicians around the country.
No one likes the current system with 47 million uninsured, an equal number under-insured, 50 percent of bankruptcies related to medical debt and heartbreaking story after story in the newspapers about local citizen’s problems with the health care system. So how about evidence-based governance? All you have to do is look at the systems in Canada, Britain, France and other nations to see that it is possible to devise a health care program that covers everyone the same way, without any middlemen, and where there is never any worry about being able to afford a doctor’s visit or an operation. You don’t need “choice” because these plans are similar for each citizen.
Want to know more? Visit the Physicians for a National Health Program Web site at pnhp.org, watch the 20-minute “One Care” video at onecarenow.org, and treat yourself to a home showing of “Sicko.” Then you will know that health care doesn’t have to be the complicated mess it is now.
Thomas Clairmont, M.D.
Pamela Clairmont, R.N.