I'm not an expert in the health care argument, but I don't think you'd have to be to understand what is a good plan and what isn't. I am blessed with a good job and good health. But it seems like people like me are becoming more the exception than the rules. Health care is seen more as a privilege than a natural right. This saddens me a great deal, because what could be more human than making sure that one of our sick brothers and sisters is taken care of, without them having to worry that they're going to be financially ruined. A Medicare for all system makes so much sense. The collective bargaining power of Medicare alone is substantial, as they pay significantly less than the rest of the health care market. (With the exception of prescription drugs, but that's another diary, another day)
More after the fold...
The free market is wonderful for things that have alternatives. If you don't like Burger King you can go to McDonalds, if you don't like Wal-Mart you can go to Target, if you don't like apples you can each oranges. But for the things that we would have a hard time living without like water, electricity and health care, the free market sucks. That's why we see so much governmental regulation when it comes to water and electricity. Because when a company like Enron causes rolling blackouts in the state of California, people could get seriously hurt.
Whenever you put human beings in charge of something, you can expect them to screw it up. That's just the way things are. If there are options, that's fine. I'll just go somewhere else. But if I have cancer, and an insurance company screws me, then I don't have any other options. There is no alternative for me.
I'm as much a free-market capitalist as anyone else, but we really need to take health-care out of the hands of the free market. Plus, going to a public-based health care system from an employer-based system is going to free up capital from the business that are spending money on insurance premiums. Naturally our taxes will be slightly higher but we wouldn't have to worry about the costs of health care, and increased business capital could lead to more employment opportunities and potentially higher salaries. What could Conservatives possibly like more than that?
But the problem isn't that the Republicans think that such a plan would fail. They know it would work. And if it did, they were be even more marginalized than they are now.
I'm going to be diligently throwing my support at (at the very least) a strong public option. I've written my Senator and I hope that you do the same.