One Shot

Health care appears to be entering the focus this week, with several candidates announcing various versions of plans while others tear them apart almost as quickly. I’m glad to see candidates waking up to the fact that health care is a major issue in this country, but I am very, very, disappointed by all of the plans so far. None of these plans seem to accept the fact that this is our one shot at health care reform; if it goes wrong, we don’t get a second try.

What we need, and what people are asking for, is a “socialist European style” system, as a Republican candidate put it earlier today. What we do not need is a plan which still relies on a system of private insurers to provide care. I don’t quite understand why no candidate seems capable to recognize this. Private insurance should not be part of the solution to American health care. Period. The Democrats are going on about “health care for all,” but they are not providing the framework to make that a realistic possibility, they’re providing the framework to completely fuck up the health care system.

Socialized healthcare works because of the lack of private insurance. This is because a set of standardized prices and plans can be created by the government, with doctors being rewarded for good work and health care being paid for entirely through public funds. It is a cost effective system, focusing on preventative and holistic care; a national health system will cost us much less than any of the hybrid systems being proposed. If you want care which is not covered in a national system, you can pay for it, or purchase supplemental insurance, but insurance is not the hinge of the plan; it’s a fringe option. This a big difference, because the government has a vested interest in keeping costs low and quality high, while private insurance does not. A national health system is what we need, and anyone who says otherwise is foolish.

I really loathe these plans talking about “requiring” health care like most states require car insurance. This is insane. I look at my budget, for example; I cannot afford the additional expense of carrying a health care policy, even with government help, and I wouldn’t qualify for free health care under these plans, because I make too much money. I’ll bet that a lot of people are in the same position I’m in, actually. Now, if the massive amount of funds I was sending to the IRS every year were going into healthcare, I’d be set. But they’re not. I pay thousands of dollars in taxes to fund the war, and that ensures that every spare penny I make goes directly into a savings account for the IRS to feast on in April. Under a national health system, my tax money could be used efficiently to provide me with health care.

I do not want to see a halfhearted attempt at a socialist healthcare system, since it will be doomed to fail. And that means that any future attempts will be roundly rejected, with people saying “well, look what happened last time.” This is it, my friends. This is our chance to totally reform the American health care system, which is entirely broken. It’s not about “fixing the broken bits,” it’s about tearing it apart and completely rethinking the way in which we operate.

The Democrats really need to stop being such whiny little pussies.