One thing that is overlooked by single payer naysayers, in their selfishness, is that our current system costs us more than single payer will cost. Yes, experts have looked at our current health care system and found that we spend more money on it than we would need to fund a single payer system. The charts above shows how much countries with universal health care spend on average on each patient and how much we spend on each patient in our system. I think it’s clear to see and fair to say that we will do much better.
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I have noticed that the only reason people give as to why they don’t want single payer health care is about how much it would cost, and the real potential that taxes would have to be raised in order to pay for it? I was talking recently with someone on social media who was saying how millenials are going to pay so much taxes because they want “everything for free.”
He was adamant about not standing for anybody asking him to pay more taxes so that “lazy people” who didn’t want to work hard would get more handouts in the form of free health care at his expense. That, right there, is the kind of selfishness that is making it difficult for us to fight for universal health care on a single front. That’s the kind of self centered ignorance that the people who have cornered, and are benefiting from, our resources alone depend on.
Another excuse I hear often, if you can call that an excuse with a straight face, is the one about America not being a “socialist country,” whatever that means. Yes, I’ve had people drop that on me while arguing against universal health care, that we must not have it because we are not a socialist country. They usually drop the not a socialist country part as a last resort, when all their points have been torn apart and shown to make no sense.
It’s clear that both excuses by the people sited above are from talking points which have been drummed into their heads over a lifetime of listening to propaganda that they have never thought of questioning. Talking points like “paying taxes is bad,” and “socialism is horrible” can be heard all over the American media, and most people just imbibe that without any questions.
I have had countless arguments with people like those two; middle class Americans, even poor Americans, who have argued vehemently against having universal health care, and many other things, because they’re worried that they would be forced to pay higher taxes, and therefore become a socialist country, if that were to happen.
It obviously makes sense to such people that they save the extra few dollars by which their taxes might be raised, but risk losing everything they have if they’re unlucky to fall to a major illness. I think that’s a perfect example of the English saying “penny wise, pound foolish.”
People like that probably think it’s wise to spend every last cent of your weekly pay check because it makes you feel richer, and you can buy more things. Of course, you can buy more when you spend your whole five hundred dollars, assuming that’s what you make weekly, than someone who spends four hundred and puts away a hundred for the proverbial rainy day.
The problem for you who spends every last cent of your paycheck, even though you feel rich doing it, is that you have nothing to fall back on in the case of emergencies, and such emergencies expose the foolishness of your ways. The person who puts a hundred away will have something to fall back on in emergencies, and wouldn’t have to lose everything and go bankrupt like the selfish spender who felt rich spending every last cent of their paycheck.
That’s what happens to you when you feel that it’s stupid paying a little extra in your taxes in order to have universal healthcare coverage. You feel richer because you have the extra one hundred dollars to spend, but if you ever have an emergency in the form of falling to a major illness, you end up losing everything you think you had, and find out that your “wealth” was just an illusion you built up.
Sure, right now, you’re okay and living well without universal care, and I hope it stays that way for you, but it didn’t stay that way for the millions of Americans who have had to die because they couldn’t afford the care they needed when their health emergencies showed up. It also didn’t stay that way for the millions who ended up losing everything they thought they had when their own emergencies showed up.
I’m quite sure some of such unlucky people thought exactly what you’re thinking when you argue against universal care. I’m sure they thought that right up to the point when their emergency showed up and they found that they couldn’t handle it on their own. Such people found out the hard way that they weren’t as wealthy as they thought they were, even with all the taxes they didn’t pay.
I’m hoping that you, or any other American, for that matter, never have to go through that ever again and that’s why I’m very much in favor of paying a little more tax, if necessary, so we can all have health care if, and when, we need it.