Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Paranoic Levers

To me, nationalised health care is something that will improve the overall health of the nation and protect the finances of the poor.

  • I do not think it would make us socialist (I do believe socialism would be good for the nation, but this does not amount to it any more than having a Post Office and public schooling does).
  • It would not introduce rationing in care any more than rationing happens in the private sector - instead, that rationing would be done in ways that would be aimed at the public good.
  • I do not believe it would encourage people to live unhealthy lives - that already happens or does not happen primarily based on the quality of life people life with a more or less healthy body.
  • I think it would, properly structured, encourage preventative care, which would increase quality-of-life for our society as a whole.
  • I believe it could reduce paperwork for doctors and patients, and uncertainty in health care
  • I believe it could reduce the possibility people might have to choose between seeking medical opinion/care and other necessities.
  • I think it would eliminate people going deeply into debt or ruined credit because of health problems. Our existing system of providing mandatory care for those who need it is not good enough
  • I believe it would remove companies that do not provide a material benefit from the health care system (the insurance companies), replacing them with the state, which is (at least theoretically) accountable directly to the public interest.
I am not interested in health care without a public option. I would be *much* more interested in a health care bill which revoked the corporate charters of every health insurance company, dismantling the entire insurance market and destructuralising it into a basic, single payer service for everyone in the nation. Private medical care for procedures that are not normal-necessary-or-regular should be permitted. Health care is not, however, an area where there should be broad paths other than the public one - the wealthy cannot have a higher, isolated level of health for themselves to the extent that they lose track of what the people at large have. What the people at large have must be good enough for people to live a healthy, good life.

Getting it right would be difficult, and we may not do so off-the-bat. The initial programme might have to evolve a few times before it becomes decent, particularly if deliberate misinformation (oddly orchestrated by a news channel!) is struggling with accuracy, rather than the more honest discussions of our values and commitments rules the floor. To not even try would mean that our health care system will continue to suck because we as a nation are a mix of too cowardly, too crazy, and too committed to lassiez-faire to fix what's broken. I hold that it is our duty to do better than this.

I come from a very wealthy family that made between six and seven figures a year. I and most of the people I know do not directly suffer much from the status quo (although there was a period where I was between insurances where I had an emergency room visit and had to pay over $1000 for some services). My experiences volunteering in a shelter some years back, the stories from friends I knew who were not so privileged, seeing people I know with dual-citizenship with Europe or Canada head to their other home whenever they became seriously ill, and various rubbing of shoulders have convinced me that our current arrangement is very poor for all but the very wealthy - Canada and European nations might not have perfect systems, but they're ahead of us, and if we can have an honest discussion and win sufficient political support, improvement would be easy.

It is incredibly irritating watching the lower caliber of discussion happening on the topic - "death panels" are rubbish, people talking about rationing as if it's something that does not already exist, astroturfing, and things that should make us wonder if honest journalism is completely dead yet.


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