With this week’s non-vote on the Senate’s “Trumpcare” bill, one would think the GOP had learned it’s lesson that, despite dissatisfaction with portions of the Affordable Care Act, Americans are vehemently opposed to having their healthcare stripped away to give more tax cuts to the wealthy.
When the equally awful House bill was first rejected in March, Majority Leader Paul Ryan said “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the forseeable future”. Well, the unforseeable future sure came fast, and here we are once again in June, looking at another ill-conceived repeal and replacement of Obamacare.By now, it should be clear that the only way to fulfill Pres. Trump’s promise of health care coverage for all, with coverage of pre-existing conditions and lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs is by going to a single payer, government managed healthcare system like every other advanced nation.
But whenever the idea of single payer healthcare is floated, conservatives raise a cry of “socialism” and praise the almighty virtues of capitalism. Of course, we’ve had several forms of socialism in the U.S. for years, including, but not limited to, your local fire department. If free-market purists had their way, if one’s house were to catch fire and they couldn’t afford to pay the firefighters out-of-pocket, they’d better hope to get out before the flames engulf them.
Again to quote Paul Ryan (arguing against Obamacare): “the young healthy person is going to be made to buy health care and they’re going to pay for the person who gets breast cancer in her 40s or heart disease in their 50s.” The problem with that way of thinking, of course, is that’s how ALL insurance works. We pay into it when we don’t need it, in the hopes that we never will, but with the comfort of knowing that it’s there should misfortune strike.
Even if you don’t buy into the notion of healthcare as a inalienable right, most Americans agree that access to health care is a moral issue, and that the U.S. should provide universal health care for all its citizens. Someday, maybe Washington will agree.