I agree that understaffing is a BIG problem and I do suspect that managed care is the culprit.
However, I don't think that universal health care (run by our government) is the answer. If we think managed care is bad, just imagine what our government would do with health care! Look at how Social Security, Medicare, or ANY other government-funded program in this country is run. How many tax dollars (or insurance premiums in this case) would go to health care and how many would be used on paperwork and a top-heavy team of administrators, etc.?
I've already said on another bulletin board that I don't claim to have the answer to our health care woes, but I wouldn't look to our government to provide health care.
I think, instead, we should ask our state legislators to MANDATE nurse/patient ratios (with REALISTIC acuities) and to fine hospitals that don't comply. I don't wish to have any more government in our lives than necessary, but it seems that understaffing has been a "problem without a resolution" for far too long now, and quite frankly, I don't know where else to turn.
I understand that the Democrats are going to introduce (or "re-introduce") a "Patient's Bill of Rights" this year. The only problem I have with that is that in my experience, it seems that most of what Democrats propose seems to SAY a lot, COST a lot, and DO very little.
Just now, off the top of my head, it occurred to me that, if we had non-profit insurance companies and if we paid insurance premiums the way we do taxes (more income=higher insurance premiums) that this might provide equal health care to ALL, regardless of income. Again, I'm pretty conservative politically, so higher taxes/premiums for people who have worked hard to achieve the "American Dream" doesn't sit well with me----BUT-----since health problems and their costs affect virtually all of us----some more than others---it seems that this approach might be worth a try.
As I said, this idea is off the top of my head, so obviously I haven't had time to think of any long-term merits or negative consequences.
What do all of you think?