"The future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available healthcare." Who made this statement? Castro, Reinfeldt (Prime Minister of Sweden), or Bush 43? This quote was uttered by none other than the current President of the United States in the State of the Union to a rare bipartisan standing ovation. He added, "When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children, and we will meet those responsibilites: for all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs but many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy."
Thus, President Bush offered two new initiatives to allow more Americans to obtain a health insurance policy. First, he proposed a standard tax deduction for health insurance [no income or payroll tax on first $15,000 (families) or $7,500 (singles) on their income for those with private health insurance]. Second, he proffered a plan to use existing federal funds to be given in "affordable choices grants" to states with innovative programs to bring basic private health insurance to all of their citizens.
The President is certainly going in the right direction on healthcare. Perhaps, the Congress and the President should offer the federal employee insurance program enjoyed by the Congress to all American citizens at affordable rates. Of course, Americans would have the right to buy private insurance policies if they opted out. And for those who did not avail themselves of either of the aforementioned options, they would be covered by a basic governmental health program available to all.
Cf. State of the Union speech (January 23, 2007) - carried by FNC.
UPDATE: Sen. Obama (D-IL) called for universal health care within six years at a healthcare advocacy meeting yesterday (01/25/07).
Cf. FNC update (01/25/07).