Those of us over 65 have been enjoying this program for years. I go to the doctor or hospital of my choice, and my taxes pay all the bills. It's wonderful. But I would have appreciated it even more if my wife and children and I had had such health-care coverage when we were younger. I want every American, from birth to death, to get the kind of health care I now receive. Removing the payments now going to the insurance corporations would considerably offset the tax increase necessary to cover all Americans.
I don't feel as though the government is meddling in my life when it pays my doctor and hospital fees. There are some things the government does that I don't like -- most notably getting us into needless wars that cost many times what health care for all Americans would cost. Investing in the health of our citizens will enhance the well-being and security of the nation [George McGovern, "It's Simple: Medicare for All," Washington Post, 2009.09.11].
Dang: how about we run McGovern against Thune... or even against SHS in the primary to get her talking like a Democrat again?
If universal Medicare is too much for you, then how about a compromise? Bill Fleming points to a powerful, intelligent argument from Sam Hurst of The Dakota Day that current health care reforms are mostly bipartisan capitulation to big money interests and that we should dump current proposals for something much simpler: Medicare for every child in America. Parts I like:
Considering the Democrats' compulsive advocacy of rights, it seems odd that President Obama never mentions health security as a basic human right. The lions of pre-Clintonian liberalism--Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Senator Ted Kennedy--all advocated universal health care as a fundamental human right essential to the nation's security. Let the right wing argue that children have no right to health care. Let the conservative movement argue that "pre-existing conditions" are a necessary evil of market competition. Let Republicans argue to senior citizens that they want to cut Medicare because it is "socialistic". Let the Republicans argue that faceless bureaucrats from private insurance companies are more sensitive and efficient than faceless administrators from Medicare who have a proven track record over forty-five years. Let conservatives argue that runaway inflation in the private health market is a by-product of free market competition.
...[T]he creation of a health system that will improve the quality and cost of care for children is an immediate investment in the next generation, not a future deficit. A child who grows up healthy and well-educated is far more able to contribute to society and her own well-being than a child who grows up unhealthy and poorly educated. Conservatives ask us to believe that civilization prospers by reducing our commitment to the health and education of children now so that when those children grow up to become middle-aged smokers with low-wage jobs in an economy they are uneducated to compete in, they will have their existential freedom.
...Children are the way out of the mess that Congress has created, and they are our path to the future, but children have no voice, and so far their grandparents have refused to stand up for them. It's that simple.
[Sam Hurst, "Health Care Battle Needs a Dose of Simplicity," The Dakota Day, 2009.09.07]
Do read Hurst's full argument. Do show it to the Glenn Beck histrionicists who say they're out teabagging for their grandkids. Show it to your Congresspeople and ask them whom they serve: a few thousand insurance execs, or 300 million Americans and future generations?
Update 14:50 CDT: See also Nicholas Kristof's op-ed in today's NYTimes. Hard-working American gal has lupus, dies early because no one would insure her. Is that what America stands for?