Presidential Candidate John Edwards solution to the growing health insurance crisis in America is to make sure all American’s have health coverage. His official website provides more information regarding Edwards health care goals. I believe that all American’s should have access to health care, but I disagree with many of the ways that Presidential Candidate John Edwards wants accomplish this goal.
Presidential Candidate John Edwards proposes shared responsibility for making sure all American’s have health insurance coverage. Edwards proposal would require that businesses and other employers cover their employees or help pay the costs for their insurance. Many businesses want to provide health insurance for their employees but they simply cannot afford it! Or, businesses may offer health insurance and their employees cannot afford it!
Edwards proposes expanding federal programs, including Medicaid, reforming insurance laws, and making health insurance coverage “available” to poor families in America. Medicaid is already an option for many poor families. Wealthier families typically have health insurance. This leaves many middle class, and low wage earning, working Americans as the main population that is at risk of not having health insurance.
While in Iowa, it’s been reported that when asked about his comprehensive health care program, Presidential Candidate John Edwards replied, “It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care. If you are going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK.”
What? Did John Edwards just say that he thought that doctor visits should be required? How can possibly FORCE someone to go to the doctor? What do you do with the person who WON’T go? What do we do if they get sick years later-tell them, “too bad you didn’t go to the doctor?”
If we, and Presidential Candidate John Edwards, start down this slippery slope by requiring doctor visits, where does it end?
One of my neighbors smokes cigarettes. I confess that I am a former smoker. Smoking is unhealthy, yet it’s legal. Will we force him to quit? How can we force someone to quit smoking when tobacco is sold legally? Do we make tobacco illegal? What has Edwards said about these health issues?
What about food. Does genetically engineered food contain the same health benefits as organic, not-engineered food? What about food imports from China? How many recalls have happened lately because of harmful ingredients? What about the ingredients we don’t even know about? What is Edwards stance on these issues that affect our health?
Should we increase the benefit amount for families that need to survive with food stamps? AC Producers Sarah Copeland and Heather Shockney have written about the many problems trying to feed a family on food stamps. Like other Americans, many people receiving food stamps might not eat healthy foods because they can’t afford to! I know, I’ve had to rely upon food stamps, too! What is Edwards stance on food benefits for the working poor? What we eat affects our health, too!
Foods high in calories and fats are unhealthy. Do we outlaw fast food restaurants, forcing them to offer only healthy food to their patrons?
Do we have the tummy patrol roaming the streets of America, checking waist measurements? Then what? Would Edwards propose that the government pay for gym programs to help people loose weight? Heck, lets just make all gym’s free and have them open 24 hours a day! Do you need transportation to get to the gym? Ok, let’s implement a free taxi service for people that don’t have cars and want to go to the gym.
Maybe we could even require that businesses let their employees have a few extra hours off everyday, paid of course, so that all of those people can get to the gym, too. Going to the doctor is a start, but wouldn’t these help people be healthy, too? What is Edwards stance on overall health?
Sure, our hospitals have to accept anyone who comes to them with a life-threatening, emergency situation. This doesn’t do anything for preventing an illness. I believe that every American has the right to healthcare, without being forced into bankruptcy.
If doctor visits are required, who’s going to check on them? Will we have another government agency to track whether or not Johnny went to the doctor last year? How has Edwards proposed his “you will go to the doctor” proposal would be enforced?
Going to the doctor for regular check-ups is a good idea. Let it be optional. Health care for all Americans is a necessity. Period. If Presidential Candidate John Edwards really wants to look at prevention, lets expand the scope to the other facets that affect our health and not stop at “visiting the doctor.”
What do YOU think?
John Edwards Official Campaign Site http://johnedwards.com/
Edwards backs mandatory preventive care – Yahoo! News http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070902/ap_on_el_pr/edwards_2