I realize my headline is a bit over-the-top . . . but . . . it did get your attention!!
In all our jubilation over the successful roll-out of Obamacare today, we should pause and give a nod to Richard Nixon. That's right . . . .THAT Richard Nixon.
Read more below the squiggle (what is that thing's real name?).
In February 1974 Nixon sent a message to Congress proposing a comprehensive health insurance program. Read the full proposal here; it's long and comprehensive. Too bad Watergate got him before he could see this become law.
Here are some of the highlights.
President Richard Nixon's Special Message to the Congress Proposing a Comprehensive Health Insurance PlanDid you catch this part:
February 6, 1974
To the Congress of the United States:
One of the most cherished goals of our democracy is to assure every American an equal opportunity to lead a full and productive life.
In the last quarter century, we have made remarkable progress toward that goal, opening the doors to millions of our fellow countrymen who were seeking equal opportunities in education, jobs and voting.
Now it is time that we move forward again in still another critical area: health care.
Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care as it is to eliminate those barriers to a good education and a good job.
Three years ago, I proposed a major health insurance program to the Congress, seeking to guarantee adequate financing of health care on a nationwide basis. That proposal generated widespread discussion and useful debate. But no legislation reached my desk.
Today the need is even more pressing because of the higher costs of medical care. Efforts to control medical costs under the New Economic Policy have been Inept with encouraging success, sharply reducing the rate of inflation for health care. Nevertheless, the overall cost of health care has still risen by more than 20 percent in the last two and one-half years, so that more and more Americans face staggering bills when they receive medical help today:
--Across the Nation, the average cost of a day of hospital care now exceeds $110.
--The average cost of delivering a baby and providing postnatal care approaches $1,000.
--The average cost of health care for terminal cancer now exceeds $20,000.
For the average family, it is clear that without adequate insurance, even normal care can 'be a financial burden while a catastrophic illness can mean catastrophic debt.
Beyond the question of the prices of health care, our present system of health care insurance suffers from two major flaws :
First, even though more Americans carry health insurance than ever before, the 25 million Americans who remain uninsured often need it the most and are most unlikely to obtain it. They include many who work in seasonal or transient occupations, high-risk cases, and those who are ineligible for Medicaid despite low incomes.
Second, those Americans who do carry health insurance often lack coverage which is balanced, comprehensive and fully protective:
. . .
In the last quarter century, we have made remarkable progress toward that goal, opening the doors to millions of our fellow countrymen who were seeking equal opportunities in education, jobs and voting.VOTING!?!?!?!?!?!? Richard Nixon proud of "opening the doors to millions of our fellow countrymen (to vote). . . " ?!?!?!?!?!?
If Nixon were in Congress today, you KNOW the Tea Party would primary the hell out of him!!