By Ben Cohen
When I speak with Republican friends about the health care issue, I'm always amazed at their strict adherence to the mantra that private insurance is always better. Even when those same friends are paying hundreds of dollars in monthly payments, and outrageous co payments on basic treatments, there's no way they'd sign up for a government plan. Or at least that's what they tell me. But I suspect when most of them can no longer afford the crippling cost, or heaven forbid, lose their job, the public option may look rather attractive.
But the argument in public remains the same - the Right will not consider a government insurance plan and are dedicated to ensuring private companies retain their vicious strangle hold on the American people.
People are, in fact, dropping dead here due to a lack of
affordable, reliable healthcare. They're being abandoned on the street.
They're being denied coverage and care. They're going bankrupt and
losing everything just because they had the bad luck of losing their
job and then getting sick. And the Republicans are telling us that this
is the best system ever, even though our infant mortality rate ranks 29th, our life expectancy ranks 42nd (so much for "pro life") and our healthcare spending is the highest among industrialized nations.
We have an opportunity to turn all of that around, though, with a
strong public health insurance option. In fact, 70 percent of us want
it. But if certain wingnuts and Republicans don't want affordable,
guaranteed health insurance, then they don't have to sign up. They're
welcome to continue to defiantly roll the dice with their private
plans. And good luck with that, by the way. Just don't punish the rest
of us with this self-defeating Palin-ish ignorance.
I think we should also get a commitment in writing from them that they won't add to the government spending they profess to be so worried about. That way, they practice individual responsibility, get the health care they seem to love so much, and won't cost the tax payer a dime. They'll get to lecture those who do buy the public option for being lazy socialists, and feel proud that they are supporting corporate America. In that way, everybody wins.
Unless it turns out that the public option is so good and the economy so bad, that they have to buy in. And then we'll all be socialists together, and they'll have to shut the f#$%k up about it.