Universal Health Care

by brendan on 02/28/2009

Why is universal health care such a politically poisonous idea?

Does America really believe that it’s “socialism” and we’d all end up waiting for hours at government clinics for the only MRI machine in the city? What about public schools or public mail? Those seem pretty “socialist”, but nobody seems to care about that. Or is it really just that private health care and insurance is so profitable for those running the current system, and the politicians they lobby, that both sides would perpetuate it at all costs?

I doubt that a strong case could be made that I’m a “left wing nut job” or some sort of hippie ideologue. I don’t attend protests or rallies, or regularly write my congressman. In fact, I’m a pretty moderate guy. I have a good white collar job, with great private insurance coverage. As far as health care is concerned, I’ve got it pretty good. And I use that coverage, regularly. I’d be in a lot of trouble without it. So you’d think I wouldn’t want to upset the status quo, yet I still think universal health care is a good idea. A really good idea. How are there not millions of other people out there like me? How do we, as a proud and responsible society, not consider health care a fundamental right for other citizens?

It doesn’t have to be anti-capitalist, or an all or nothing proposition. Health care professionals could still be wealthy, and health care service companies could still make money. Provider choice could still exist. Quality of care could most certainly still exist. Some very smart people have some very good ideas about how we can make this a reality, but most politicians won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. Why not?

I know it would be very expensive. Nothing is free. Would you be willing to pay higher income taxes for health care, if it meant you wouldn’t have to pay for insurance? Or prescription drugs? Or if it meant that your community would be healthier? Or that fewer people in your community would fall into poverty or turn to crime because they didn’t have outrageous health care costs to deal with? I would. And maybe I’m naive, but I really think most other people would too, if they took a serious look at the idea.

Are there better ideas? Maybe. And maybe those ideas are all private care based systems. I don’t know. But private care is what we have now, and it’s got some pretty gaping holes in it. So any new private ideas would need to be pretty drastic to make a difference. Regardless, I’d be happy to champion another idea if somebody can convince me that it’s better. As long as we do something.

So since nobody has convinced me yet, I’m still voting for (public) universal health care. And I think you should too. But don’t just take my word for it. Go do some research. Watch this. Come to your own conclusion. And if you’re conclusion is different than mine, convince me I’m wrong. But if your conclusion is the same as mine, lets do something about it.

There is 1 comment in this article:

  1. 03/14/2009Anonymous says:

    I agree!

    Another solution would be a competive social based insurance program available to all Americans. This would continue to encourage competition and advancement in the medical industry.

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