We face a very daunting task in reforming our healthcare system. Do you agree with Feldstein’s charge that the middle and upper classes are unwilling to make the sacrifices needed to provide care to the poor? If so, why, and if not, why not? If this were Utopia and you were King/Queen, how would you solve this very complex issue? What would you propose and how would you fund it?


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The interesting thing about health is that science does not discriminate. Genes that promote longevity and good health are in all socioeconomic groups, as well as those that elicit disease, addictions and chronic health problems. One major difference, through the ages, is that those with wealth and power have been able to seek the best available research or and treatments.

Research has shown that those with more education have the edge. According to A September 2009 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ‘Not only are better-educated people healthier than less educated ones, but the children of people with more education are healthier, too. For instance, babies of mothers who are high school dropouts are twice as likely to die before the age of one as are the babies of college grads; children whose parents dropped out of high school are six times more likely to be in poor or fair health than are the kids of parents who graduated from college.’

But in the end, some very simple and sensible choices have a LOT of power. A balance of social, emotional, physical and spiritual health can win the edge over health problems. Having said that, whether wealthy or in poverty, there are times when health issues arise and people need to seek care. Communicable diseases don’t discriminate. FOR THIS reason, a system of haves and have nots, in a democratic nation, cannot last in a debate, ultimately.

There are very important procedures, screenings and medical interventions and there are those that are of debatable value. Blood pressure screening, for example, is easy to do, inexpensive and offers a lot of valuable information. Then when one considers controversial alternative medicine, which some swear by and have found value but others find issue with, elective surgeries, and other tests doctors order, simply for ethical or legal reasons, this is where the debate becomes foggy in health care.

Then when one adds political or religious elements to the discussion and many multicultural groups, it’s no wonder the topic is so heated. …

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