As I’ve heard and become involved in debates over health care (see my previous post) I’ve noticed that some opponents take an interesting tack in stating their opposition to any kind of government-run health care program.
You mention the public option and their take is that the government will royally screw up such a system. America already has the greatest health care system in the world, they’ll say, so why fix it if it ain’t broke?
Well, first of all, if there are people in this country who cannot receive basic health care because they cannot afford to pay for it, it’s not the greatest. And if the private companies are refusing to provide coverage to those who can afford it (even with the assistance of their employer) because of a pre-existing condition, it’s not the greatest. And if the companies refuse to pay for a procedure because it’s “unnecessary” despite the recommendation of a doctor — the person who is ostensibly the best judge of such things — it’s not the greatest. I could go on, but you get the point.
But to my main beef. Many reform foes will neatly contradict themselves in their arguments, claiming America is already A-number-one in the health care department and doesn’t need a government-run program. Yet you point out that we already have such programs in the form of Medicaid and Medicare, and that the health care program for American military personnel is government run, those programs suddenly become exceptions to the rule. Those things? Aw, they suck and are proof positive that Uncle Sam would make a poor Dr. Sam.
Yet, did not Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard recent say that Medicare and the military health care systems were in fact top-of-the-line? He did, in a discussion with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Yet he could not reconcile that statement with his belief that a government-run system for the general public would be a mess.
And I might remind the GOP opposition in particular, our own former governor Mitt Romney wholeheartedly approved of a state government-administered health care system in Commonwealth Care? And so far Mitt has yet to completely reverse his stance there (so far, but give him time).
What I’m saying, health care opponents: let’s have a little consistency.
Tags: health care debate
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