Paul Lachine

America’s Health-Care Divide

A country’s success – whether measured by the glory of its leaders, the expansion of its territory, the security of its borders, or the well-being of its population – rests on the health of its people. But, with US health-care reform set to take effect in 2014, that lesson has been lost on Republican-controlled states.

BERKELEY – In 1883, the authoritarian imperial government of Prince Otto von Bismarck – who famously declared, “It is not by speeches and majority votes that the great issues of our time will be decided…but by blood and iron” – established national health insurance for Germany.

The rationale for national health insurance is as clear now as it was to Bismarck 130 years ago. A country’s success – whether measured by the glory of its Kaiser, the expansion of its territory, the security of its borders, or the well-being of its population – rests on the health of its people.

Serious illness can strike anyone, and seriously ill people, as a rule, do not earn much money. The longer the seriously ill are untreated, the more costly their eventual treatment and maintenance become.

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