Health Care and the Campaign

February 18, 2000

More and more political pundits say that health care is becoming one of the most important issues in the political campaign. Americans are saying, "the system isn't working."

And the problem isn't really money. The economy is booming, and companies are often providing quite generous health benefits. But money can't buy good health, and money can't buy piece of mind. Workers with good health care plans still complain about a system that seems far too interested in cutting corners than in curing patients.

A recent Washington Post survey asked: "what worries Americans?" Number 1 out of 51 choices was the power of insurance companies in making medical decisions. Number 3 was the cost of prescription drugs. Number 5 was the fear of losing medical benefits. Are you starting to get the picture? Americans are worried about health care.

That being said, the worries differ remarkably from one another. People with insurance are worried about different things than people who cannot afford insurance. Some people with HMOs worry they will go out of business. Others wish their HMO would go out of business.

Parents with young children just want to get regular visits to the pediatrician paid for. Elderly patients with Medicare want prescription drugs paid for. Patients with chronic care needs don't want to beg and badger for what should be routine procedures. Some complain about the care they receive; others complain about the care that should be given to their elderly parents.

Of course this diversity presents candidates with a dilemma that does not easily lend itself to a "one size fits all" answer. Nevertheless, the health care issue is a hot issue and will be an important issue in the upcoming elections.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.