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Why a public option should still be explored

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Jillian Nay
June 11, 2010

In a Thomson Reuters Survey in December 2009, 60 percent of Americans believed a public option should be in final health care legislation; even with such strong public support, the public option was not included.


Why?


Some political experts claim it’s because Americans fear the involvement of Uncle Sam in their health care, but they love their Medicare and Medicaid, which are government-run programs. We’re left to wonder why, if Congress is supposedly connected to the people, many representatives completely disregarded their constituents.


An official from the Embassy of Germany stated that the public option and health care reform for America is the difference between, “civilized and uncivilized.”


Americans pay the highest health care prices in the world and have the lowest results of any civilized country. We are barely beginning to realize now what many other countries discovered centuries ago—that the economy is better and citizens are happier when they are healthy.


All citizens should have access to affordable health care, yet doctors do not need to suffer with the added workload. Government should create incentives to enter the medical field. This would support the flow of new patients. Costs can be cut by using technology to electronically file insurance claims, which largely eliminates fraud. Also, by paying doctors not for the number of procedures they do but for how healthy their patients are, outcomes become the focus.


Sen. Russ Feingold stated that the majority of Senate Democrats still believe a public option is a “good approach.” He also remarked that, “a public option is a fundamental part of ensuring health care reform brings about real change.”


America needs a change in health care, and with insurance premiums at an all-time high, a public option could turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.


Jillian Nay wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

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