Last week, University President Mary Sue Coleman held a forum at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy to discuss problems facing America’s health care system. Sporting a sling on her left arm – a souvenir from an unfortunate treadmill mishap – Coleman addressed one of the most overlooked yet pressing issues in our country today: the need for universal health care. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the number of uninsured Americans at 46 million and climbing, a figure that can only indicate a grand moral failure in the world’s leading economy. All Americans must take this issue more seriously, then Coleman should be commended for leadership.
Numerous proposals, including single-and multi-payer systems, have emerged as potential solutions to expand access to health care. Regardless of the specifics, the goal should be to provide health care to everyone. If those who are currently uninsured receive both preventive and necessary care, they will be able to avoid more severe health problems and ultimately relieve the larger, unnecessary burden hospitals often face.
Unfortunately, groups seeking to protect special interests have largely stonewalled the debate on universal health care at the national level.