Medicare For All

There was a very enlightening statistic in Nicholas Kristoff’s column in the NY Times today (11/5/09) – Americans over 65 years of age have a longer life expectancy than people in the average industrialized nation, while Americans under 65 rank 31st in life expectancy (on a level with Chile and Kuwait) when compared to those nations..

The obvious reason is that people over 65 in the U.S. have the protection of “government-run health insurance” while those under 65 are left to the tender mercies of private insurance health plans or no plan at all.

With this statistic staring people in the face one can only wonder why there is such vehement opposition to a Medicare type health system for all Americans. People tend to forget that there was much the same outcry against Medicare when it was first proposed for passage in 1966. How many Medicare beneficiaries would give Medicare up today?

The latest Ken Burns TV documentary on our National Parks is a strong reminder that not everything run by the government is a flop. In fact, as shown by Burns, some are startling successes and do a lot of good for the American people..

When the statistics show that life expectancy for Americans bumps up substantially when Medicare-style health care comes into the picture, why not try it?

Who knows – in another 60 years we might find that none of us wants to give that up either!