James Flanigan's May 29 column concerning national health-care policy, "Time to Stop Buck Passing on Health Care," was excellent. It was both enlightened and enlightening, although I am sure he will suffer the brickbats of medical profiteers.
For decades now, American businesses have deluded themselves into thinking that they exist in some sort of Adam Smith-like utopia, where healthy capitalism ensures employment for all, along with medical care and retirement plans.
Nice thinking, except it is not true--tens of millions of people are unemployed or underemployed and have to rely on the government to a greater or lesser degree. For that matter, most of our large companies have come to rely on our tax dollars for continued existence. Witness the Chrysler bailout, or the large number of companies that depend on government contracts for their livelihood, or the almost daily rescue of foundering banks by the feds.
The health-care field, or much of it, assumes that everybody can afford $1,000 a day hospital care and the very, very best of everything medical. The truth is that millions of Americans cannot afford such costly care, but they would desperately like to have adequate health care, a place they can go for preventive medical attention and the knowledge that an accident or long illness will not beggar them.
We do need a guarantee that everyone in this country will have access to proper health care. Since private enterprise appears unwilling to do what is necessary, it is certainly time that a national health trust fill the gap.