Physician, heal thy system
The rights we have as human beings and as citizens of this country, by all ethical and moral standards, should include access to basic, appropriate health care. This is not something that should include in its description words such as “if” or “maybe"—it’s a societal obligation.
That health-care availability is a basic human right is the opinion held by many physicians, mid-level practitioners, nurses and other care providers. Undoubtedly, when these professionals entered their respective walks of life, they shared this moral and ethical view. “If” and “maybe” were not part of the oath they took, nor part of the principles they adopted.
When the health-care system does not uphold this basic right, it is the duty of these professionals to speak out together with the goal of healing the ailing system they see around them, the system they work within.
This united voice for reform is ringing out from organizations such as the California Physicians Alliance, Physicians for National Health Program, California Nurses Association, California Public Health Association-North, Community Clinic Consortium, Dental Health Foundation, Health Access California, Latino Health Alliance, among others.
They speak with combined knowledge, expertise and conviction in support of the only reform proposal that can provide truly universal care: single-payer insurance.
What do the other proposals currently on the table—both state and federal—have in common? They do not accomplish the goal of basic, appropriate health care for all. Their proponents incorrectly use the term “universal” as part of their description.
These other proposals have at their core the utilization of the for-profit health-insurance industry. With that comes excessive cost and a fractured, unequal, complicated system.
The question is simple: Health care for all, or the empowerment and entrenchment of the for-profit insurance industry?
In Chico, a group of medical practitioners has joined this collective voice by forming a local chapter of the California Physicians Alliance. This is a stand of unity in support of a single-payer system. All interested health-care providers who share this vision are invited and encouraged to attend our first CAPA meeting and help formulate a plan of action to move our state and our country toward an equitable system of health care for all.