stethoscope-for-web.jpgThere are lots of people out there who work hard at their jobs but have no or little health insurance coverage. (In total, 46 million Americans do not have health insurance today.)

With Democrats taking over Congress there’s been, as expected, lots of talk about patching up this nation’s ailing health care system. But what shape will the patches take?

captc6201e13931a4d7290b403b25db74941bush_us_israel_dcpm111.jpgPresident Bush in his radio address this past weekend talked about giving people tax breaks to help them buy coverage on their own. Tax breaks seem to be Bush’s answer to almost every economic problem but it’s unclear whether that will translate into more people being covered.

People who have their own businesses or work at jobs that offer little or no health coverage constantly complain to me about how expensive it is to buy insurance on the open market, if they can get it at all. One woman told me she and her husband tried to buy insurance after they decided to leave their corporate jobs and start a franchise business, and they were denied because at one point she was diagnosed with high blood pressure, and it also came up that her husband had smoked when he was younger. How did the insurer find out about these problems? Their doctor’s records. (That’s a whole other topic.)

The bottom line is they ended up getting coverage but it costs them nearly $400 a month for a bare bones plan. The couple is contemplating going back to the rat race and working for a major company again because they fear one catastrophic illness will end up putting them in the poor house.

Some Democrats see the answer in a socialized health care system. Hilary Clinton talked about that but was shot down big time during her husband’s tenure as president.

Now everyone realizes the health care problem in this country is nearing a breaking point and everyone’s scrambling to offer their plan. Tax breaks won’t do much to help people who can’t afford costly plans. And socialized medicine would be such a monumental change I can’t imagine how this country would be able to accept it…doctors, hospital administrators, drug company CEOs and health insurance big wigs are probably going to do what ever they can to keep the profit motive alive and well in the nation’s health care system.

So what’s the answer? Does anyone have a plan out there that will work?

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