If we look at the proposed money to health care in the context of the struggling American Health care system however, a different picture emerges.
There are by most estimates some 46-47 million uninsured Americans. And this number does not tell the whole story. An additional 10-15 million Americans lack insurance for part of the year, and still more are under insured - perhaps as many as 20-30 million. This means that roughly one third of Americans do not have access to basic health care coverage and cannot afford basic health care needs.
Some believe that these people lack coverage because of lifestyle choices. That is absurd. The problem is this: We rely on a system of for profit health care. Private insurance companies provide coverage to us. The motive of such companies is profit. To put it very simply: one does not make a profit covering the sick, but only the healthy. This is why all private insurances companies exclude anyone who might suffer from a massive list of "pre-existing conditions."
Furthermore, insurances companies employ whole departments in order to cover the cost of a little as they can get away with; even for those who have full insurance!
Finally, The United States pays more - far more - than any other country on health are per capita and only ranks 37th on the World Health Organization's ranking of health care systems. And indeed, for individuals the financial burden of health care is unbelievable. Health care costs are the leading cause of debt and bankruptcy in the united states. A system that cost so much and covers so little is not only broken but irreparable. It is time for change.
We need atleast a federal board which will heavily regulate private insurance, and a public plan that those fed up with their private plans can cheaply buy into, and that will force Private insurers to keep up with if they are going to compete.
We should welcome Obama's budget as a strong step in the right direction. And far from decry it, we should hope that far stronger health care reforms follow promptly upon it.