‘Battle Over Socialism’
Mr. Rich Lowry’s piece in the 8/6//18 WTO entitled “The Battle Over Socialism Is Joined” presents the idea of “Medicare-for-All” as “a fringy plank of a growing element of the Democratic Party” and “a completely batty, politically unserious idea” which would be fiscally unsustainable. He also warned of the “allure of free healthcare.”
This view certainly raises some interesting questions – mainly, how is it then that virtually every other developed nation in the world somehow manages to provide healthcare to all of its citizens through some version of a single-payer system? And, since this is so, does Mr. Lowry then believe that America is, for some unknown reason, uniquely incapable of figuring out some way of implementing a workable universal healthcare system of some sort for taking care of its citizens?
Also, surely Mr. Lowry doesn’t really think that any Americans believe that such healthcare would be “free” as he implied they do, does he? Of course, such a system would be supported by taxes specified for this purpose. But before panicking at the thought of “higher taxes” as some would wish, remember that the trade-off would be that you would be paying $0 to private sector profit-driven insurance companies — no premiums, no co-pays, no deductibles — and all American citizens would receive comprehensive healthcare.
Interestingly, previous projections estimated that the nation’s total healthcare costs would be trillions of dollars less than they are now over the course of the first 10 years of transitioning to such a system, given the inherent cost-saving advantages which this type of system would bring to the table — and, balancing out the targeted tax increases supporting this system, businesses would be unburdened from the responsibility and costs of directly providing healthcare insurance coverage. And, oddly enough, no countries who have adopted such a system have chosen to return or change over to a private-sector based profit-driven one.
So, no — this is not a “fringy” or “completely batty” idea. On the contrary, our current complicated and unwieldy system leaving so many of our nation’s citizens unable to afford adequate healthcare here in what we would like to believe is one of the most developed nations in the world is what is profoundly unfathomable. This is a national disgrace, and one incredibly sad way in which America truly is “exceptional.”
There is a priceless opportunity here for our government to pursue a truly worthy and bi-partisan goal – one which would benefit our nation and all of its citizens for generations to come. And isn’t this precisely the kind of thing that our elected leaders should be doing – i.e., rising above personal and partisan agendas to actually serve our great nation as they have sworn to do by making the lives of all Americans better?
Clearly, this is an issue which now warrants very serious and thoughtful consideration and discussion.
Dale E. Buonocore,