The national debate this summer over reforming health care is all about changing a system that’s destined to bankrupt the nation.
Nowhere is this more evident than right here in Revere.
In the School Department budget next year, it will cost the city $7.7 million to provide health insurance for school employees.
Mayor Thomas Ambrosino has used some of $1.75 million in federal stimulus money to cover part of that amount because the city didn’t have the funds on hand to pay it.
Five years from today, the bill for health insurance for the city’s School Department employees will be $3-$5 million higher – an unsustainable amount of money.
At that rate of increase, the city will likely have to make Draconian choices in the years to come – notwithstanding what contracts provide for.
Health care reform the president is asking for is becoming more of a political battle than a reality battle for health care reform.
We know this – even where we sit, far away from Washington and not close to the corridors of power wherever they exist – without health care reform, the nation goes bankrupt in five years.
We are hearing many arguments that go like this: “You don’t want to do a total reform. Just fix bits and pieces.”
That’s how the Republicans want to do it, and frankly, we don’t understand why.
Fixing bits and pieces is like wrapping a leaking pipe with a cloth instead of removing the pipe, and with a torch and flux, fixing it for the next 20 years.
“We’re very fearful of the government running health insurance,” say the Republicans.
However, how many Republicans are on Medicare or Medicaid, and who is afraid of those programs working? And who runs those two vital programs? The government.
There is a bottom line to this issue. The bottom line is fiscal survival and health care for everyone.
Everyone in this nation should have government provided health care or be able to purchase their own.
This is what a great nation does.
How do we call ourselves the greatest nation in the world when many of our middle class and working poor can’t afford health insurance for themselves and their children?
A great nation like ours provides health insurance to its people, at the very least.
Let’s get on with it and reform health care.