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If You Think an Inability to Pay is not a Good Reason to Die From Lack of Healthcare You Might Think It's a Right.


One of the topics I've been planning to write about is my assertion that the people in the US overwhelmingly believe in healthcare as a right. Turns out that reality beat me to it. The support for the idea among those surveyed in 2013 was 42% now it's 60%.
If that number of people actively profess support for the idea of universal healthcare I would argue that the number against is probably in reality equal to the size of continued support for Fragile Ego. While I'm not suggesting a direct correlation I think the number of people apathetic about the deaths of fellow citizens is about the same as the number of people so lacking in empathy and conscience that their support for him continues regardless.

I have noticed that people seem to have a reflex against saying that health care is a right. I've been talking about this with people for a while, at least since the primary season in broader terms. More recently I've grown more specific in response to something similar said by several people from pretty different political perspectives. I've heard a few iterations of "I'm not sure I think healthcare is a right, but..." It's the unwillingness to simply say outright that healthcare isn't a right that intrigues me. I find that I'm invested less in convincing people to believe that healthcare is a right than in convincing people that they already do.  It seems really simple to me, in a very obvious Occam's razor kind of way:  Do you believe that people should die because they can't afford healthcare?  Are you ok with ours being a very rich country in which that happens in the tens of thousands yearly? Putting aside how it's paid for far more than 60% of us would choose empathy over whatever callousness that would allow you to decide that people are of less value than money. Am I wrong? Is this not the question?

I find the weird capitalist orthodoxy that makes it almost impossible for people to express the correlation to the belief that people shouldn't die to lack of funds sadly hilarious (funny, but in a weepy way; there must be a word for that, damn vocabulary). I wonder if recognizing that they see it as a right it's really not far to the scary idea of single payer becoming the most rational model for providing healthcare. I'm an advocate of single payer. Having experienced the ease of emergency service and seeing specialists in a single payer system and here, having a test recommended by a specialist denied by some random in a health insurance company, I think it's obvious why so many nations have some form of single payer:  the cost of profit on top of ensuring that everyone has access is really expensive. If you believe that healthcare is a right, as so many of us obviously do, it only makes sense to do it as inexpensively as possible. The comment thread that helped to lead me back to blogging ended up spending a lot of time on healthcare, I can't remember right now where the conversation started, it had legs. Aside from the tone, which I attribute more to my conversational partner, what stood out for me is where the conversation ended, not in total agreement but with some shared understandings if not beliefs. Ultimately, he, with his libertarian values and me with my progressive views both came down on the side of healthcare being not for profit. We also essentially agreed that single payer is the best working model for delivering healthcare, and past that point we diverged.  He doesn't believe in the government's ability to deliver it efficiently and well. Considering the pendulum like swings from one wildly different administration to the next, he has a point. Still, our points of agreement were significant and left me with the sense that it might be possible to collaborate on building a government that might be up to the task; one that doesn't fall repeatedly again back to abject stupidity.


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