Sunday, October 19, 2008
Aloha, I am told, means both "hello" and "goodbye" in the Hawaiian language. I guess it all depends on your intonation. It turns out there is another term that also encompasses both "hello" and "goodbye" in the Hawaiian language and it is called universal coverage. A program to provide free healthcare, from newborn to age 18, has failed only seven months after it started. It seems that there was no money to keep it going. The goal was to cover lower income families but human nature took over. Families that had private coverage were dropping it so they could get the free care as well. I don't think this experiment should be ignored. It really needs to be examined to see what went wrong and how Americans think. As physicians, we all want people to have the appropriate healthcare but it can be abused and just giving it away will bankrupt us all. The people of Hawaii have spoken and they have said that even if they have the money to pay for their doctors' visit or medications, they still would rather get it for free. Aloha, altruism.
Posted by Authentic Medicine Blog at 6:30 AM