I decided that the best way to learn about Paul Tsongas view on health insurance was to research by going to the library and reviewing the Lowell Sun and Boston Globe. In an interesting article from 1993, I found what I was looking for in the Sun. It was titled: Tsongas stumps for reform of U.S. health-care system. (lack of caps in the original). In it, he is speaking to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine at the Massachusetts College of the Arts. In it, he says that the easy part is coming up with access for everyone. The difficult part, he says, is paying for it.
In the article, he talks about the coming friction between generations that will be caused by making the younger generation pay for the retirement expenses, including the medical expenses, of the older generation. He expressed his sentiment that young people would grow up and become persons in the medical profession who are not just working to help the sick, but expecting to make some profit in exchange for their studies. The United States medical system is a for profit system, he says. And, doctors want to have some say in the system by serving on the boards of the medical insurance companies.
I understand Mr. Tsongas’ message. Not only do doctors want to serve on the boards of companies that set rates for the doctors services, but they want to provide input into the care that their patients receive. We can all agree with those goals.
Mr. Jamie Eldridge, a candidate for the Fifth Congressional District’s House of Representatives seat, has espoused what he calls Single Payer Universal Health care. I have been to every debate thusfar, and I have no idea what that is, or how it is supposed to work. I learned more about it from Mr. James Miceli, who pointedly asked Mr. Eldridge how he intended to pay for it, then I have from Mr. Eldridge. I thank Mr. Miceli for his question. I await Mr. Eldridge’s answer.
I think, based on Mr. Micelis follow-up question, that Mr. Eldridge wants a system close to the Canadian system. But, as Mr. Miceli points out, Mr. Eldridge does not take into account the inherent failure of the Canadian system. Their drugs cost less, for instance, but they come without the assurances we get when we get drugs passed by the Food and Drug Administration.
The second argument that Mr. Miceli makes is that the Canadian system, he says, is two-tiered. The rich receive better care than the poor, despite the fact that the system is designed to provide individuals with the same high level of care. I do not know if that is true, but Mr. Eldridge failed to address it in his follow-up answer.I am very interested in the definition of single payer universal healthcare. As I said, in all of the debates, I have not gotten an answer to the basic question, what is it??
Massachusetts is light years ahead of the federal government in providing universal health care. It is now a requirement. But, as a native of another region of the country, I can say that few other states are at the point that they will, or can, provide universal health care. I take great pride in being from Massachusetts. I agree with universal health care. But, before the U.S. government gets involved with dictating universal health care for every individual, I want to know the proposal. Mr. Eldridge, it is only fair.