Kerry’s health care plan flawed

Dana Lucas and Dana Lucas

Balancing the national budget and free health care for all sounds appealing, but it just isn’t going to happen.

During his campaign, John Kerry has repeatedly promised Americans universal health care. In a campaign ad he claims, “In the richest country on the face of the planet, no American ought to be struggling to be able to have healthcare.”

While America is one of the richest countries in the world, it is not rich enough to provide health care for everyone. Kerry’s vision for health care is positive and optimistic, but I question how he will pay for it.

Teresa Heinz Kerry has recently worked to propel his health care system. Setting eloquence aside, she told the Lancaster, Pa., Intelligence Journal straight up. “Only an idiot wouldn’t like this,” she said of her husband’s plan. I must be an idiot, then.

According to USA Today, Kerry’s system is projected to cost $650 billion over the next 10 years. America is in the midst of a struggling economy as we approach a $500 billion deficit. The only way that Kerry can afford universal health care is by, you guessed it, raising taxes.

Due to expensive healthcare costs, many American seniors are turning to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs. Outraged American drug companies have begged Congress to ban their importation, because American drug companies cannot afford to compete.

How can Canada provide these cheaper drugs while the United States can’t? Because unlike the United States, Canada provides free healthcare to every citizen.

While that sounds appealing, there’s a catch. A Canadian making $60,000 (about $45,500 U.S.) per year pays an average of 35.5 percent in income taxes. In America, one could make almost $312,000 before being taxed that much, and it doesn’t stop there.

The average price for gasoline in Canada is 82 cents per liter, equivalent to $2.35 U.S. per gallon. The average sales tax is 14.3 percent.

Still complaining? In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Don’t be economic girlie men.”

There are many aspects of our current healthcare system that need improvement. The rising cost of prescription drugs, expensive insurance premiums, outrageous medical malpractice lawsuits and the threat of Social Security depletion by 2047 can be addressed by means other than socializing healthcare.