As more and more people jump on President Obama's universal health care bandwagon, I'm deeply saddened to think about what the ultimate ramifications of the actual implementation of such a plan could be. While it sounds like a good idea on the surface and is certainly a great 'connect with voters' issue, the truth behind universal health care coverage is something much darker.
In both Britain and Canada, two countries who've 'enjoyed' universal health coverage for many years, patients in need of important and sometimes life saving procedures must often wait weeks or even months before seeing a professional. Canada, a country widely accepted as having a 'successful' health care system, often forces doctors to take time off once they've met quotas or their billing reaches a certain level.
Of course there's also the issue of money. In an economy that's pretty close to teetering on the verge of major catastrophe, can the United States afford to spend the trillions of dollars it would costs to cover everybody? Even by the Presidents own estimates, it would be a significant financial challenge and many analyst believe implementing such a system could well send our economy into a death spiral.
The truth is, universal health coverage sounds like a good idea; it sounds like a humane idea. But in reality, it's one of the worst and most inhumane things we could possibly do to both our economy and people. I agree that the current health care system is flawed, but the answer is not universal health care. The answer is forcing insurance companies to implement saner coverage policies, governing more closely how they apply those policies, and working with doctors to reduce costs and provide better care to their patients.
Wake up, President Obama! Preaching coverage for all might help win elections or give you a few percentage points in the polls, but it will cost us all too much in the end.