Tell me how you feel about it.
Several years ago, I got into a conversation with a very bright young business man. Somehow the subject of universal health care came up.
I'll never forget his words, "Some people actually believe that health care is a basic human right. Can you believe that? That everyone is entitled to health care?"
I also remember that our talk came to fairly speedy end after I voiced my opinion about the matter.
What do you think?
Along these lines, hats off to The Dallas Morning News for its four-week series, "State of Neglect." You can get to the ongoing report here. The timing is perfect just as the Texas Legislature prepares to open its 2009 session.
So far the report reveals how the State of Texas has aggressively "outsourced" health benefits coverage for the poor, the disabled and the elderly to the private, for-profit insurance industry--in this case, Evercare of Texas, a division of UnitedHealth Group. To say that the company has under performed would be a great understatement. If you live in Texas, you'll want to read the report.
The result of this outsourcing has been neglected patient care, an incredible lack of responsiveness, inferior services for those who need them most and amazing profit for corporations and lobbyists who work on their behalf.
Here's how the Dallas Morning News sums things up:
"This month the Texas Legislature will open its 81st session with a $10 billion budget surplus. Many leaders have called this the happy result of a state government that keeps taxes low and regulation light, and that makes Texas, for the vast majority of its residents, a great place to live.
"Unless you are hospitalized. Or buy insurance. Or breathe the air. Or engage in any other daily activity that requires state oversight. . . .
"Texas is near the bottom among the 50 states in per-capita spending on health and human services, but it is a leader in outsourcing these functions to private contractors."
Frankly, the entire situation in Texas in the health and human services sector is an on-going disaster. Reform is needed, comprehensive, radical reform.
It is time we all called for better outcomes for everyone.