Reader’s view: Affordable Care Act is a step in right directionI strongly favor the Affordable Care Act, commonly labeled “Obamacare.” I hope it ultimately leads to single-payer health care for everyone. Widely published opinions, statistics and projections support this view.
By: Dr. Robert J. Goldish, Duluth News Tribune
I strongly favor the Affordable Care Act, commonly labeled “Obamacare.” I hope it ultimately leads to single-payer health care for everyone. Widely published opinions, statistics and projections support this view.
However, my opinion is based not only on published predictions but also on personal experience as a physician in Duluth, plus almost seven additional years of practice elsewhere in socialized medicine: two years as a flight surgeon with the Air Force, four years at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital while training to be a specialist in internal medicine, and, more recently, nine months as a volunteer physician in a government hospital in northern Israel. In all these government-run milieus, the care was conscientious and ranged from good to excellent. Everyone who needed medical care got it. Nobody was turned away. Nobody went bankrupt because of medical expenses. Nobody suffered or died because of a lack of care or medication. Malingering was infrequent and was emphatically not tolerated.
Since I completed 36 years of private practice here, the costs of medical care and insurance have inflated immorally in our largely for-profit health-care system. For example, the uninsured must pay from $25 to $35 for a flu shot; people most susceptible to catching and spreading influenza are those who cannot afford that price.
No system is perfect. Our country’s physicians and hospitals are indeed mostly superb. In many areas they’re the best the world has seen. But they are available only to families who can afford them. The high profits allowed by our present system cause intolerably huge numbers of our people to get suboptimal care — or no care. For our USA this is shameful.
The Affordable Care Act is a much-needed step in the right direction.
Dr. Robert J. Goldish
The writer is a retired internist in Duluth and is a professor of medicine emeritus (adjuvant) at the University of Minnesota Duluth.