Obama didn’t originally want the Affordable Care Act, so it’s ironic that its nickname is Obamacare. He wanted a single payer system of universal health care, but the political realities forced him into a compromise. I believe that he thought (as he said when running in 2008) that the mandate would be ruled unconstitutional, and that once it was struck down he would have a healthcare plan without funding. Congress would be faced with having to cut off healthcare to children and many others or they would have to adopt a single payer method to pay for it. Justice Roberts changed his vote on the Supreme Court case at the last minute, calling the mandate a tax, preserving the hold of insurance companies on our healthcare system.
As a writer and a visionary thinker, I support the empowerment of ideas over people. I think about what is best for the future and then look for candidates that mirror my views and are willing to fight for them. If a person compromises their ideas before an election due to ‘political realities’, they stand in a weaker position to move things the direction I want them to go.
Now we have three stances on the future of healthcare for our country. There’s one candidate behind a single payer system, one behind keeping and expanding Obamacare, and others who want to scrap Obamacare to keep things in the hands of a private insurance system. Ideas need to be empowered, and I believe a single payer system is the best way to go.
A for-profit health insurance system is immoral because it basically involves speculating on a person’s health and placing bets on the outcome. If it’s a bad bet, the system raises rates or freezes the person out to face mortality on their own, and that is not healthcare anymore. Beyond that, insurance is a terrible approach to healthcare because it will eventually lead to widespread eugenics (genetic engineering). Home insurance requires meeting housing codes and building better houses, auto insurance means safer cars and better drivers, so a health insurance approach will eventually lead to building a better human through genetic engineering. Bet on it.
Oh, but a universal healthcare system is socialist economics, and we can’t have that!
Some things work better as a socialist economic program. The US Department of Defense is the biggest socialist program in the history of the world, and also the most effective military. Private militias like Blackwater are caught up in all kinds of scandals including allegations of rape that never get properly heard. Road building is a socialist program that allows us the freedom to drive all kinds of places without having to pay tolls. For all the so-called ills of imminent domain, imagine the aggravation of constantly having to make left turns to go around Billy Bob’s properties or pay him a toll. Healthcare is another social activity that would work best under a socialist economic approach.
How would universal healthcare change America? Imagine knowing that whatever might befall you health-wise would be taken care of. A lot of worries and stresses would be eased. Also, knowing that healthcare is being taken care of by yourself and others might make you appreciate yourself and your fellow citizen more. The taxes that you pay would not only take care of your own health worries, they would help others in your family and community. You might actually feel warmth in your heart that you are participating in a system that covers everyone.
No, it’s not utopia. There are problems associated with any system, maybe some unforeseen, but I think there could be many other plusses that politicians never talk about. A lot of people have to make life decisions based on healthcare, giving up their dreams to get a job that kills their creativity.
Do you support the arts? How would you feel knowing that the healthcare system allows more people to lead creative lives? The young struggling musician or minimalist writer or community theatre actor—all naturally adverse to seeing doctors—would be able to follow that dream for longer knowing that they didn’t have to abandon their calling to get a job with expensive health insurance. This in turn would mean that more people from poor and working class backgrounds would be able to break through to reach a wider audience, bringing the thoughts, feelings and ideas of their families and communities to light. Without the corporate stranglehold on healthcare, might the corporate hold on the literary establishment and the music business—and on so much of our lives—loosen too?
I think it would. So claiming that the political realities mean that we can’t have something that’s a good idea, compromising it away instead of fighting for it, doesn’t seem very progressive to me. Maybe this is why we have a bunch of raging right wing candidates. Moderate republicans realized they could manipulate the perception of center to the right so they could get what they wanted politically. Unfortunately, they created a monster that appears to have taken over their party and pulled ‘reality’ to the right. It’s high time to pull it back the other way again by fighting for some unrealistic notions and idealistic dreams.