Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fools Rush In

Contrary to what inebriate louts like Thers might think, setting up a single-payer healthcare system is very, very complicated. Like every other policy decision - from spreading sewage sludge on food crops, to inaugurating “three strikes” laws, to executing pedophiles, to invading Iraq – it needs to be considered carefully in terms of its potential downside.

Granted, polls show that Americans want a single-payer system. But with all due respect, is a public that’s not sophisticated enough to avoid sickness and injury sophisticated enough to understand the risks of single-payer healthcare?

It’s one thing to trust the public to elect a president; how much damage can one person do, given our exquisite system of checks and balances? But attempting to protect America’s health is quite another matter. If we can’t set up a perfect system from the outset, we probably shouldn’t attempt it at all. For one thing, there’s the issue of cost. It costs money to provide healthcare; this fact alone should give us pause.

I also worry about the effect of single-payer care on the American soul. If you can get free healthcare after being run over, why would you bother looking both ways before crossing the street? Why would you avoid overdosing on heroin, for that matter, or catching AIDS from prostitutes?

Everyone agrees that it can be inconvenient when someone dies due to a lack of timely and affordable medical care. But I fail to see how we can solve this problem by giving taxpayer-funded ER care to any Prius-driving metrosexual fop who breaks a nail en route to the Power Exchange.

If America is famous for anything, it’s famous for carefully weighing the long-term results of its decisions. It’d be a shame if the purely emotional lure of anodyne clich├ęs like “moral obligation” caused us to ignore our natural conservatism and pursue an unrealistic, risky solution to our problems…especially at a time when we need to devote our wisdom and resources to the vital project of remaking the Middle East in our own image.


madamab said...

I totally agree! I would much rather pour money into killing brown people for the benefit of rich people than to educate, clothe, feed, care for and transport my fellow Americans so we can all have better lives. Way to go! ;-)

chris said...

Here in Canada, the nanny state has taken away my right to die from lack of medical care.
And the TAXES! I'll bet they waste a hundred dollars of my hard-earned tax money every month on health care. That money could be buying bullets for our glorious fight against the evildoers in Afghanistan.
Don't let this happen to you!