Friday, February 26, 2010

healthcare yet again

Last night I was searching for a radio station as I drove home and found a right wing talker, disparaging Obama's meeting with congress. A caller made a statement that I found completely true and critical for the discussion. He said, "If health care is a right, then it doesn't matter what it costs, we must make it available to everyone. If healthcare is not a right but a choice, then government should not be involved at all."

I think he is correct. If healthcare is not a right then we should do away with medicare, with public health insurance for children, with any government programs. Let the elderly who consume too much medical care to ever be able to afford any health insurance die. Let families provide for their children or let the children die. If it is not a right, government should not be involved. If it is a right, then the only discussions should be regarding how to pay, not whether we pay.

Having said that, it is important to realize that every industrialized nation in the world has decided that it is a right except the United States. Think of that... Every other industrialized nation has said it is a right.

I cannot understand how anyone, especially people who call themselves followers of Jesus can justify any other position. Healthcare is a right and it must be guaranteed as a part of the commons.

I have said before that there are a variety of ways to do this. My personal preference is for a truly socialized system like in Great Britain, but that is not the only option. Most of Europe uses private insurance that is highly regulated and given to all and the providers are likewise part of the private sector. Canada's system is not a national system but is province by province and is essentially socialized insurance while the medical providers are private businesses. Whatever option is chosen, I believe we must provide insurance for all and don't really care how we do it.

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