Sunday, December 8, 2013

Colin Powell Advocates Universal Health Care In U.S.

Speaking at the Prostate Cancer Survivors Celebration Breakfast, former Secretary of State Colin Powell called for universal health care in the United States. Powell, a retired four-star general, Republican and prostate cancer survivor who benefited from the health care provided by the military, advocated for the adoption of a single-payer system already operating in every developed country:

“We are a wealthy enough country with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care,” he said Thursday at a Seattle fundraiser for prostate cancer. “(Let’s show) the rest of the world what our democratic system is all about and how we take care of all of our citizens."

...“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this: I have benefited from that kind of universal health care in my 55 years of public life,” Powell said. “And I don’t see why we can’t do what Europe is doing, what Canada is doing, what Korea is doing, what all these other places are doing.”

...He also shared a story about his wife, Alma, who recently had a serious health scare with three aneurysms and a blockage in an artery.

Both he and his wife had swift, effective treatment and never had to fear whether they could afford the care they needed, he said.

Powell compared that to the experience of a woman named Anne who sells him firewood and does work around his yard.

...Even though she had insurance, it wouldn’t cover MRIs she needed before doctors would perform surgery to treat a growth in her brain. Powell gave the woman the money, and she’s receiving treatment now.

“After these two events, of Alma and Anne, I’ve been thinking, why is it like this?” Powell said. “Every country I’ve visited, every developed country, they have universal health care. They don’t understand why the United States of America, which uses more health care than just about anybody else, still (has) 40 million people not properly insured.”

“I think universal health care is one of the things we should really be focused on, and I hope that will happen,” Powell said. “Whether it’s Obamacare, or son of Obamacare, I don’t care. As long as we get it done.”

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