Brodie Farquhar: We can do better
Gazing into my somewhat hazy crystal ball, I can safely predict that over the next year or so, we’re gonna hear a lot about health care, Medicare-for-all and the, shudder, horrors of socialism.
That’s because there’s an election coming up for the following offices: president, a third of the Senate, all of the House and a gazillion other state, county, municipal, school district, etc. candidates.
Health care will be a prime issue for national offices for several reasons. Obamacare is under attack in the courts and may well be ruled unconstitutional by a right-wing federal judge. And while Trump and congressional Republicans have sworn to end Obamacare, there is nary a sign of what they’d replace it with, should they succeed.
I suspect they simply want to return to their version of “the good old days,” when we’re all at the tender mercies of for-profit health care and their predatory CEOs who have bought the loyalty of many politicians. That “health care system” produces more bankruptcies and foreclosures than any other country in the world, for so-called customer/patients.
Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates for president have been presenting a wide range of health care proposals, from Biden’s incrementally improving Obamacare, to Bernie and Warren’s Medicare-for-all and a Baskin-Robbins range of flavors in between. Trump, meanwhile, is promising something fabulous to replace Obamacare, but details will have to wait until he wins a second term.
Trump, the Republican party, all Republican candidates and the vast, for-profit health care system will be waving the red flag of socialism at every opportunity, hoping to confuse the public into conflating Medicare-for-all with the dire specter of socialism/communism/Mao/Stalin/Venezuela.
They won’t tell you that every other western democracy already possesses a single-payer health care system in which everyone pays something for health care.
Realistically, a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system open to everyone would totally smoke the for-profits on straight competition. For-profits have to make a profit, which means you get shafted when you really need coverage. Medicare-for-all wouldn’t have to make a profit for investors or CEOs, just deliver better care for less money. Piece of cake.
Rather than get hung up on the details from Democratic candidates X, Y and Z, just focus on this slogan: “We can do better.” Every other western country already does.
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