Another Perspective

In American history, when did life expectancy, as we know it, gain the most? Was it in the late 19th century, when anesthesia was discovered, making surgery easier? Or was it in the 20th century, when antibacterial medicines became available? Or, was it when CAT scans and MRI’s and Ultra Sound procedures revealed serious health issues? I suggest the correct answer is “all of the above” with emphasis upon the word: access, i.e., having access to health-care professionals.
Obviously, statistics aren’t always reliable and statisticians spin their own results. As they say, “liars figure and figures lie…” But it’s a good bet that life expectancy started its surge shortly after 1945 and/or during WW-II. Ironically, life expectancy started its increase as thousands of Americans were being killed in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
Part of the answer may be that during these wars, the nation mobilized for war. Some Americans, having never seen a doctor, discovered “access” to medical coverage through the military, or through jobs linked to military industrial contracts, and/or as dependents of soldiers. In a word, health-care came about because of having access.
For all the disagreements about Obama-Care, and doubtless there are flaws as in any piece of legislation that comes out of Congress, it behooves us to focus on this: health care access to all.
To repeal Obama-Care would certainly diminish access to a health professional for millions of people. For them, it would be like turning the clock back. It would be devastating.
Recently, I read a report that found one-quarter of Californians were uninsured. That report could as easily been written about North Carolina, or South Carolina or most any other state in the South. What’s the reason for this lack of care? May I suggest political failure?
It’s political failure to provide universal health-care, despite efforts of past Democrat and Republican Presidents.
When political ideology trumps health-care for the poor and other Americans, shame on both political parties. Moreover, to hear politicians adopt campaign slogans to repeal Obama-Care is as phony as a 3-dollar bill. According to certain Republican Presidential candidates, if they get their way in the next election, adequate health-care will be cut off except for the rich and powerful.
Whatever happened to plain common compassion? Who among us wants to be the first to deny, for example, a suffering mother access to our medical system for her sick child?
O’ sure, I’ve heard the Republican spin doctors make the claim that all Americans have access to health-care through a visit to the local hospital emergency room. But that’s not being completely honest about the issue.
First, not all rural Americans in this wide open and expansive country have access to hospitals. Besides, why should an uninsured sick child, with a high fever be required to wait for hour(s) and hour(s) in a hospital emergency room to see a professional for service? And when services are finally rendered, the hospital cost for that child appears “hidden” in YOUR health insurance premiums. Surely informed citizens know that additional operating costs in hospitals are recouped.
It’s been reported that our children are two-and-a-half times as likely to die before the age of 5 as children in Sweden, and that American women are 11 times likely to die during pregnancy/childbirth as Irish women. Is that the America you want?
I agree Obama-Care will not solve all the issues of health-care, and that it requires much tweaking, and that amendments should be made in subsequent legislation. But Obama Care is a start. I think that’s what the President had in mind when he signed the bill into legislation.
If you’re one of the 40-million without medical access, Obama-Care is a game changer.
Studies show that uninsured people significantly die sooner than the insured. It’s a fact because their disease is caught at a later stage when medical applications are less effective. That need not happen in America.
In closing, there is one other group I must mention with respect to medical care. It’s the people that passionately oppose abortion. I think many oppose it for the wrong reason.
There is indisputable evidence that one of the best ways to reduce abortions (and improve health care), is to provide a woman access to health-care. Statisticians cite that the United States has one-third more abortions, per 1,000 women of reproductive age, than Canada, and twice as many as in Germany. (By the way, not all abortions are attributed to the sinister plot to kill the unborn, as some contend or to control teen pregnancy. That argument only exasperates the issue).
Increasing access to good health-care may be the most powerful tool to reduce abortion. dawseyjh@embarqmail.com

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