I really truly believe that we should institute a single payer health care system in the US.
Today in my health law class I volunteered to debate in favor of universal health care. And I found out a lot in the process. There are lots of ways to make sure everyone has health coverage, but I'm convinced more and more that a single payer system is the way to go. Basically, that would consist of the government taxing employers (so, instead of paying private health insurance costs, that money goes to the government) and probably taking a little income tax, and in effect, pooling that money like an insurance company would, and then paying out when people need it. Pretty much, it's just government insurance, and we establish it so that they're the only health insurance in the country.
Did you know that this would probably be more efficient? Seriously - this is one area where the government would create less paperwork and be more efficient than traditional business.
Did you know that every other industrialized nation uses some form of universal health coverage, and most are on a single payer system?
Did you know that there are more than 40 million Americans without health insurance? And many more on sub-par insurance?
I really feel this is practically a wise option. But even more important, I feel universal health care is a moral/social obligation.
And I would distinguish this claim from saying that health care is an individual right - I don't think that people actually have a right to coverage. But I do think that we should provide it all the same. We have a duty to care for our fellow humans. This is a duty placed on us by God, by our common condition as fellow humans, and by life itself.
If we truly value others, if we understand our place in the universe and see our interconnectedness, we can come to realize the value of protecting others. There is security and stability in universal health care that no person should be without. And everyone should have an equal chance at survival - it shouldn't turn on your ability to buy an insurance policy. This is a justice issue. There are people, who through no fault of their own, have no ability to secure medical treatment. Society cannot ostracize and ignore these unfortunate few. Because these unfortunate few are part of who we are.
And sure, there are problems with universal health care. But there are problems with the current system. Much more serious problems. Moral problems. So we need to take a long hard look at what we believe. Because if we believe that justice, equality, security, and life are important values, then our conscience calls us to work towards universal health care.
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry