Health Care: Good vs. Evil
This should be just the kind of battle the President loves, right against wrong, no nasty little nuances to fog the mind, but here he is on the side of darkness, threatening to veto a bill passed by the House that would extend health insurance to five million more children of the working poor.
The proposal, according to the Washington Post, is backed by â€œRepublican and Democratic governors, the American Medical Association, AARP, the March of Dimes, the Catholic Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and even cyclist Lance Armstrong. And the prospects are good in the Senate, where a key Republican, Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), said, â€˜It’s difficult for me to understand how anyone wouldn’t want to do this.â€™”
George Bush doesnâ€™t–on â€œphilosophicalâ€ grounds. “When you expand eligibility,â€ he argues, â€œyou’re really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government.”
In his opposition, the President may be opening the wider debate on American health care and what some of his loyal supporters yesterday denounced as the first step toward â€œsocialized medicine.â€
If so, it would only be a baby step, but the discussion is long overdue. If â€œsocialized medicineâ€ is the only alternative to lining the pockets of HMOS and health insurance companies at the expense of sick kids, so be it. If â€œsocializedâ€ means humane rather than rapacious, whatâ€™s so scary about it? Socialized doesnâ€™t mean Socialist.
Even doctors, the presumed victims, seem to be in favor of scrapping the current system. A recent survey by the Minnesota Medical Association found that â€œ64% favored a single-payer system, 25% HSAs, and 12% managed care. The majority of physicians (86%) also agreed that it is the responsibility of society, through the government, to ensure that everyone has access to good medical care. Less than half (41%) said that the private insurance industry should continue to play a major role in financing health care.â€ (Source: Sustainable Middle Class blog.)
Itâ€™s time to talk frankly about whatâ€™s good and whatâ€™s evil in our health care system, and President Bush may just be leading the way.
Cross-posted from my blog