Why Do Healthcare Discussions Make Smart People Stupid In America?

The Lion suspects that most people in America, aside from the virulent zombies in the Republican Party, would agree that Barack Obama is an intelligent man. Highly intelligent, highly accomplished.

And yet even he can be driven into stupidity by the irrationality of the healthcare debate. To wit, from today’s Globe:

Obama addressed public worries head on: Why no single-payer system, one Internet questioner asked. It might work elsewhere, but so many Americans have become so used to receiving health insurance through their employers, it’s too dramatic a change, Obama explained.

That’s from a town-hallish meeting Obama held at Northern Virginia Community College yesterday.

And once again the man misses the point. People do not care, finally, where their health insurance comes from. In truth, they do not even care about health insurance.

They do care about healthcare.

They do want to go to their doctor when they’re sick and not worry about how to pay for it. They want to know they can go to the hospital when their condition is serious and not worry that they’ll have to declare bankruptcy or spend the rest of their life paying off a hospital bill. They want to know that they can get an illness treated in its early stage when it can be cured, they want to know that they don’t have to wait for illness to become so severe that they can no longer work or enjoy life. They want to know that they can take their kid to the hospital without fearing the cost will drive them into debt.

And employers would like to get the burden of health insurance off their backs and off their books so they can compete with every other modern country that has national health care instead of competing at a constant financial disadvantage. And employers would like to think that their employees could stay healthy and productive because they get the care they need when they need it.

If the United States government provided quality healthcare, paid for by taxes, no one would miss employer-provided health insurance. The current system kills and cripples people and it cripples the nation’s economy.

It’s time for Obama to get his head out of the sand, it’s time for the Democrats to stop coddling the insurance industry, and it’s time to tell the Republicans to piss off. The Republicans have nothing to offer, nothing to contribute, and want nothing better than to return to the days of old and sick people dying in the street, to the days of poorhouses and workhouses and debtor’s prisons. The Republicans want nothing better than to rake in personal fortunes gained from the misery and suffering of the American people.

The American people want good health care and they want to be free of health insurance terror.


3 Responses

  1. People do not care, finally, where their health insurance comes from. In truth, they do not even care about health insurance.

    They do care about healthcare.

    As usual, you’ve gotten to the heart of the matter. The issue is healthcare for 300 million people, not the sustenance of a parasitic health insurance industry.


  2. The conflation of the terms “health insurance” and “health care” on Obama’s part make me wonder about his real agenda. The bills coming out of Congress look like the law in Massachusetts and I have a feeling Obama–who said he was not in favor of mandates during the election–will accept mandatory health insurance in favor of a health care system paid for through the EXISTING tax system. It’s time to expand and fully fund medicare and social security and stop wasting money on private executive salaries, perks, and profit margins. People get sick and old. Unless the government wants to outlaw old age and illness, then this pandering to the insurance industry has to stop.


    • Insurance is thievery.


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