in the Register Guard, Sept. 7 2013
by Mike Meyer, Eugene
Reginald Jensen’s Sept. 3 column illustrated why health care has no business being a business (“Single-payer system is just too costly to work”). He cited the World Health Organization in rate-of-growth of costs, but conveniently minimized or ignored current costs and health outcomes.
A single-payer system is not only the right thing to do mathematically but is also the right thing to do ethically, historically, socially and practically.
The United States forfeits the value of tribal and community health interventions when it delivers medical care that replaces communal solutions with profit in an individualistic society. It’s no wonder WHO ranks the United States near the bottom in health outcomes and near the top in costs.
Health care is not just an intervention or cost containment, it’s primarily prevention, compassion, community, education, environment, family and instilling hope.
A single-payer system is the best climate in which to deliver wellness and health to a society because it facilitates wellness, not just sick care. Equal access means marginalized populations with the highest wellness will have cost-saving access. That’s why the new community care organizations are spending more money on those identified with the highest needs, ultimately saving more through prevention and community care.
Also, denying that health care is a right because it relies on others is backwards; communities will naturally offer that right as essential to their well-being if we stop making it such a business.