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Nation-wide healthcare is not a radical idea

Vox Pop

The USA is a form of “Democratic Socialism” which “stresses the political aspect (of socialism), accepting a compromise in the economic field between state and private enterprise,” a definition from a 1992 Webster dictionary. In this compromise between state and private enterprise, the USA has mostly chosen to buy healthcare from private healthcare businesses. The failures of such a patch-work system have become intolerably displayed by our ongoing corona virus epidemic: People with healthcare through their employment lost this care when they lost their jobs, the time when they needed it most. Prevention should obviously be a main stay of good healthcare, yet a third of people in a recent poll said they skipped medical appointments because they couldn’t afford them. People go bankrupt from paying high medical bills. Companies make money by denying coverage of certain health problems or don’t even accept some people because of pre-existing health problems.

Hospitals are able to treat uninsured people now in our system when they become acutely ill because these hospitals charge insured people more and because they receive some government help. Thus in the long run, healthcare cost should not increase with a type of Medicare-for-all. In fact, by eliminating the unnecessary paper shuffling by health insurance companies, costs will go down.

We are now paying about twice as much for our healthcare per person as most other civilized countries.

Republicans have criticized nation-wide healthcare as an idea of the “Radical Left.” But this is far from the case. We the people, through the votes of our representatives, have in the past decided to regulate many private enterprises, such as requiring clean water and clean air. In some areas, including national defense, tax collection, judicial matters, social security, and highways, we have chosen to remove the role of private enterprise altogether. In fact, we already provide government healthcare for veterans, the poor, and people over 65 years old. Thus having nation-wide healthcare is not moving us ideologically any further “Left.” And since we’ve had such healthcare programs (which are loved by their participants) and because most other nations already have healthcare for all, it is hardly “Radical.” There may well be private healthcare enterprises even with governmental healthcare, sharing the healthcare burden as we do with the mail.

The reason that we are the richest country in the world is that most of us are hard-working, honest, and dedicated to doing our jobs well , as evidenced by the high percentage of Covid-19 sicknesses and deaths among low-paid essential workers in the medical and service fields. Nobody, especially these people, should have to choose between paying for food, rent, or health coverage.

— Jim Kurz, Ladysmith