Righty: The U.S. healthcare system is the finest in the world: the best doctors, the best facilities, the best research. To tamper with it and bring it under federal control would be a disaster. Doctors are already smarting from HMO red tape and absurd amounts of paperwork. Do we want our medical facilities to be staffed by doctors or bureaucrats? The best healthcare isn’t cheap, and it shouldn’t be. But why should people who watch their diet and take time to exercise (like me) have to pay for the follies of chronic smokers and couch potatoes who stuff themselves with corn chips? Typical socialism: just dump everyone into the same pot without regard to individual habits or initiative. Grrr… why don’t you malcontents just move to Sweden?
Lefty: Nobody should ever have to face bankruptcy because of illness, but that’s precisely what’s happening to millions of Americans under the current system. Our health insurance system is an international disgrace: profit-hungry insurers routinely deny coverage to the people who need it most and gouge those who have to pay for it themselves. It almost seems as if they go out of their way to make life miserable for the sick and needy among us. There’s your social Darwinism in action, Righty! Ain’t it grand? We need a sweeping reform of our entire medical establishment, and we need it now. No more delays!
The New Moderate:
I have an important question, and now is the time to ask it: why do we have to choose between totally nationalized healthcare and our current “too bad if you can’t pay” system? These seem to be the only two options under discussion, and they’re both unacceptable. Why can’t we simply opt for federally subsidized, universal health insurance? Seems sensible enough, doesn’t it? But nobody’s even talking about it.
Here’s the perfect centrist solution to our healthcare crisis. We’d let the doctors practice medicine the way they’ve been practicing, and we’d let patients see their doctors at will — without having to wait six months for a tonsillectomy. But we’d fund the health insurance system with our taxes to create a safety net for those who aren’t covered by an employer. That way, no individuals are denied coverage and nobody is forced into bankruptcy.
Under this plan, we wouldn’t have to nationalize the insurance companies (even though this irate moderate thinks they deserve to be nationalized!). We’d simply nationalize the payment of premiums. End of story. We’re long overdue for universal coverage, and we can’t wait any longer as our population continues to age. Wake up, Washington!
Summary: Let’s stop pushing for a totally revamped, nationalized healthcare bureaucracy and simply fix the system where it needs to be fixed: by providing tax-funded health insurance for those who don’t already receive it from their employers. That way, nobody gets left out.