Let’s Go Dutch
By: Ted Beust | Our Voice Contributor
One continuing argument in American politics is what do we do with our healthcare system? In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare/ACA) was signed into law by then-president Barack Obama. Despite some of the more popular provisions, there is one part of the bill everyone hates: the individual mandate.
The individual mandate leaves Americans wondering why we should be forced to buy health insurance. The individual mandate also comes with a fine if you don’t buy health insurance. However, the bill also expanded Medicaid, which not a lot of Republican governors have taken, namely current Kansas governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. Meanwhile, Ohio governor John Kasich did accept the popular Medicaid expansion.
With the premiums and copays rising each year under the ACA, there have been cries for a new healthcare system. The specific healthcare plan I’m referring to, people, is a single-payer, Medicare-for-All system. A system proposed by former 2016 presidential candidate and current Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
I do and don’t agree with the Vermont Senator on healthcare. I do agree with him because we should take a glance at Europe for advice on a new healthcare system. I don’t because of the legitimate concerns with wait times.
If we decide to look to Europe for a system to emulate, we should look at the Netherlands and their healthcare system. The Netherlands has a universal healthcare system which is mainly described as a “managed market.” “Managed market” means you still have an insurance market (60 companies to choose from) but there are regulations. Every month you pay a premium (the average monthly premium is €113.17, or $133.14 per person). Once the premium is paid, all basic healthcare needs are met, such as GP visits, medication, treatments from specialists and hospital care, and maternity care and midwives. These benefits are paid for THROUGH YOUR TAXES.
Will your taxes be higher? Yes.
Would your higher taxes be justified because of the benefits? Yes.
It is, however, not enough to simply want this system. To truly move forward with the rest of modern societies, we, as citizens, must engage our representatives and convince them to fight for it on our behalf! Call your congress members today and exercise YOUR right to demand change.