Regardless of what one thinks of New York's junior Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, she must be given credit where it is due. She, like no other First Lady, was willing to tackle the issue of "healthcare reform." Even though "her plan" was never passed into legislation, the woman was gutsy and strong enough to at least find out what the challenges, quirks, and problems are with healthcare in America.
That was 1993. In my opinion, healthcare in this nation hasn't improved in the last fifteen years since the White House started looking into the situation. It has only gotten worse.
Whether it is a President McCain or a President Obama, it is HIGH TIME that someone make some headway in tackling the monstrosity we currently must endure in the health care of this nation's citizens and legal residents.
There are SO MANY facets to the whole "health care" debate:
1) Abusing the systems already in place (this is both over-use and neglecting to use).
2) Outrageous lawsuits against the physicians and medical facilities who render care.
3) The uninsured and the underinsured (which is an ever-growing problem).
4) The personal responsibilities of every person in this nation for their own health practices (or in most cases, our "unhealthy habits) and habits.
5) Affordable access to basic healthcare.
6) Defining and regulating what is an "emergency" and what is "routine" health care, and what the delivery system should be in each situation.
My professional experience is limited to working in two different hospitals in two very different environments--yet both had similar challenges and problems. The first facility was in a small, rural town---but there were REAL problems for real people in the healthcare system. More of this was from abuse and neglect than anything else. The second facility was here in Chicago...and the expected abuse of the "free care" for some people was the price of being in existence.
Somewhere, we've lost our way when it comes to health care for every American and for those legal residents of this country. As a matter of confession: I will not go to my physician (even when I've needed to seek medical attention) as often as I should, simply because the costs are just too much of a strain on my budget.
And I HAVE INSURANCE.
So, whomever occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 21, 2009--be ready to tackle the "health care" debacle in this country. Expect a fight on your hands.
It will be a Bruiser.
Just ask Senator Clinton. She still has the scars--fifteen years after the fact.