Letter: Has health care questionsIn the latest election, I was glad to see that we had a referendum on providing affordable health care. I have a few concerns with the proposal.
By: Michael Mukka, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
In the latest election, I was glad to see that we had a referendum on providing affordable health care. I have a few concerns with the proposal. First, I am unsure how putting this in government’s control is the solution. Second, it is very unclear how government resolves the fairness of cost and coverage across the population.
I will use Social Security as an example to illustrate this point. Social Security is something that people pay for their entire lives and have a right to collect at 62. It is not an entitlement.
Affordable health care under the referendum for all would start up in 2009. In this fashion, this health care proposal is not equivalent, in that not everyone has paid in their entire working life that gets coverage. As a result, I recommend if it does go forward that there are risk factors that determine cost of individuals and families.
As we all know, insurance policies are priced based on age and habits including smoking, drinking and weight among other risk factors. To be fair, the burden should be shared proportionally based on risk. Should everyone be equally accountable for people that live unhealthy lifestyles? I say no.
This means higher risk will result in higher cost.
If we do transition to government-controlled health care, I do not have confidence the government-run plan can meet my litmus test:
1) Does the government-run plan equal the health care provided by my employer for the same cost?
2) Does the plan reward people for living healthy lifestyles and increase cost for those that don’t?
3) Does the plan have a means to enforce the healthy life style provisions without infringing on freedom?
4) Does the plan weigh cost across according to risk?
5) Will I continue to have access to all Health Care service I can now access.
I question whether this is possible.
Editor’s note: The referendum mentioned by the writer was advisory only and in the Hudson area was offered only in the city of Hudson. Statewide, the referendum was offered in only 17 communities and five counties. The referendum was on various ballots because an organization known as Citizen Action of Wisconsin gathered enough signatures in the 22 entities (13 of those were in northern and western Wisconsin) to get the question on the ballot. The organization offers no specific plan, only requesting that all citizens have health care equal to coverage offered to legislative members. The referendum passed in the city of Hudson by 4,851-1,769 margin. The question passed in all 22 entities around the state.