by Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director, American Humanist Association
In almost every measure, the quality and affordability of healthcare in the US is embarrassing. While we spend more on healthcare than any other country, “all adults in the United States are at risk for receiving poor health care, no matter where they live; why and from whom they seek care; or what their race, gender, or financial status is.”
A newly pre-released documentary, Bitter Pill by Dr. Vivekanand Palavali, reveals the depth of the health care problems we face, from greed and corruption to defensive medicine and the revolving door of lobbyists from the medical industry. Without a single-payer system, the film argues, the improvements brought about by Obamacare do little to address the greed-driven motives now in control of those who run the health industry’s biggest insurance, hospital, pharmaceutical, and supply companies. With tens of thousands of people dying every year for lack of insurance and medical costs causing a multitude of personal bankruptcy filings, it’s no time to play games with our nation’s healthcare system. It deserves attention from country’s best minds who shouldn’t be distracted by those who assert religious objections to a purely secular issue–but that’s just what’s happening.
Many opponents of health care improvements come from the Religious Right. One of their key angles of attack is to pit “religious freedom” against efforts for an improved health care system. This was highlighted this past weekend, Oct. 20, with Stand Up For Religious Freedom rallies. Dozens of fundamentalist groups were crying foul over birth control coverage included in nation’s new health law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), even though contraceptives do more than just stop pregnancies. Despite the exemption for institutions that are purely religious in nature, rally organizers are still upset, claiming “not even Jesus and the apostles would have qualified for this exemption.”
To read the rest of this Huffington Post article from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.