More thoughts on health care in South Milwaukee

A little earlier today, I wrote about the decision by the South Milwaukee Common Council to push through an ordinance prohibiting the city of South Milwaukee from mandating that private businesses provide certain wages or benefits to employees.

It’s no secret State Representative Mark Honadel – whose district includes South Milwaukee – is no fan of providing health insurance coverage to all his constituents, with Rep. Honadel on record as saying, “I always respect the right of citizens to get involved with their government — that’s a good thing. But I am against universal health care.” It’s worth noting Rep. Honadel opposes universal health care for his constituents despite the fact that those of his constituents who went to the polls on November 4, 2008 voted overwhelmingly in favor of an advisory referendum that asked if they believed the legislature should enact health care reform legislation that guaranteed every state resident affordable health care coverage as good as what is provided to state legislators.

Here’s the referendum question, as well as the results for South Milwaukee:

South Milwaukee – Referendum

Shall the Legislature enact health care reform legislation by Dec. 31, 2009, that guarantees every state resident affordable health care coverage as good as what is provided to state legislators?

Here’s the results:

Yes – 7,235 – 72%
No – 2,872 – 28%

Seventy-two percent of those who voted in South Milwaukee support health care reform legislation that guarantees every state resident affordable health care coverage as good as what is provided to state legislators, so why is it that the elected officials representing South Milwaukee – both at the state and local level – are so unwilling to do their best to represent the desires of their constituents? After all, weren’t our elected officials elected to represent us and our beliefs, rather than ignoring us?


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3 thoughts on “More thoughts on health care in South Milwaukee

  1. I find this referendum interesting. What did anyone expect the results to be? I’m surprised 28% voted against it. What were the statewide results? What do you think the results would be if the wording included: Your individual net taxes will increase approximately 10-15% immediately; you most likely will have to change doctors; some, if not many, doctors in the state will be leaving to practice in other states; to see specialists will result in 3-6 month wait or longer; you lose all choice in your healthcare decisions; remember this is the same government that operates the DMV, the TSA, FEMA, and regulates the Banking System and Stock Market.
    What if your state had a referendum asking: Should the state provide an automobile to every qualified citizen equivalent to the average car driven by the state legislators? You would get at least 72% to vote for this and probably more. That’s why we are a republic and not a pure democracy. There is a significant difference.

  2. Randy, you don’t need to recite all the conservative talking points in opposition to health care reform; most of us have heard them over and over again throughout the years.

    If you’d like to talk about how private health insurance is far superior to any type of government-run program, then let’s start looking at some statistics. You cited the fact that taxes would rise 10 to 15% immediately (without citing some hard data to back that up), but I’d like to talk about the cost of health insurance premiums. In 2007, employer health insurance premiums increased by 6.1 percent – two times the rate of inflation. The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $12,100, while the annual premium for single coverage averaged over $4,400. If health insurance premiums continue to rise unabated, we’ll see more and more individuals and families priced right out of the health insurance market, and I’m willing to bet we’ll see fewer and fewer employers who are able to offer health insurance coverage to their employees.

    Now let’s talk about how government-run health care is administered. The overhead costs of a program like Canada’s state-run health care system are estimated to be one percent, while the overhead costs of private insurers
    in the United States range from 11.9 to 34.4 percent of benefit payments. Additionally, a study study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen to be published in Fridays International Journal of Health Services finds that health care bureaucracy last year cost the United States $399.4 billion. The study estimates that national health insurance (NHI) could save at least $286 billion annually on paperwork, enough to cover all of the uninsured and to provide full prescription drug coverage for everyone in the United States.

    What I’d like to know is what’s your solution in regards to health insurance coverage? How do you propose providing health insurance coverage to all citizens, or better yet, do you even believe all our citizens should have access to health insurance coverage?

  3. Yes, all citizens should have access to health insurance. Should it be an entitlement, no. I don’t purport to have an answer to this situation but I certainly know it is not to turn it over to the government. You cite a sixteen year old study from 20 years ago that Canada’s system has a 1% overhead cost. First, I don’t believe that to be true today and anyway it would be misleading. What are the real dollars? If 300 million Americans are on a national plan 1% of it’s cost would be much greater than 30% of the cost for those presently on private plans and if you added additional participants to the private plans the percentage of overhead would drop dramatically, as the fixed costs would not increase appreciatively.
    Yes, our system needs some overhaul. But by far we still deliver the best health care of anyone in the world. It’s not perfect but an imperfect government bureaucracy will not be better.

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