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I do love a good debate, and my previous post on universal healthcare has proven to be quite the battleground for libertarians, or college students who think they’re libertarians, to vent about why “socialized medicine” will never work.

Firstly*, socialized medicine implies that private health insurance will cease to exist.

American universal healthcare would be treated the same as the DOD treats weapon contracts. The government negotiates low and consistently priced plans from private health insurers and issues a voucher to each tax payer, not unlike employer provided healthcare. The only difference being that instead of your money going directly to a private health insurance company, your money would go to a federal health brokerage program. You could then use your contributions to this program and enroll in ANY private health insurance program you’d like. No one would be denied, no one would be dropped, and rates would go down due to simple preventive healthcare.

Copays will still be around, and health insurers will still compete for consumer attention because they are receiving money from the federal government…an entity that usually pays its bills (at least to contractors).

My friend at FraudWasteAbuse (who, like me, seems to have a love of CamelCase, but unlike me is a bit of a downer) argues the following:

“Of course the 40,000,000 figure likely includes many young and healthy individuals with low risk of serious illness who don’t believe that health insurance would be cost-effective.”

I can assure you that the vast, and I truly do mean vast majority, of those uninsured are not happy go lucky youngsters with awesome abs and clefts in their chins. No, those kids tend to be wealthier and are covered under their parent’s or college’s insurance policies.

The uninsured typically fall into these categories:

  • The poor, who are forced to rely on underfunded public health facilities.
  • Recent immigrants, who often don’t grasp the ridiculous loopholes involved in getting health insurance.
  • The underemployed, day workers, contract workers, people whose employers are running on such thin margins (or thick greed) that they cannot afford health benefits.

He then goes on to point to Veteran’s Affairs, a program that is so underfunded and politically poisoned that it went largely unnoticed by the administration until they at some point realized that fewer deaths meant more injuries.

Something else, you know all of those people with no insurance? Well what happens when they get sick, but don’t go to the doctor because they are uninsured? Instead they try and tough it out, only to end up in the hospital with something much more serious, and much more expensive. Now if they couldn’t afford a $50 visit to the doctor, how are they going to afford their $1300 visit to the hospital? Who pays for that? That’s right bucko, WE DO.

Newsflash, we are ALREADY PAYING FOR THE UNINSURED, only it is more expensive, and we’re doing it more often, than a Universal Healthcare program. I’m going to let you use your awesome libertarian math skills to figure this one out:

Universal Healthcare: $50 doctors visit + $100 prescription – $40 in copays =$110 to taxpayers

Current system: $500 ambulance ride + $1000 Misc hospital care + $100 prescription = $A whole f*ck of a lot more.

Universal Healthcare is not Socialized Medicine. Small business wants it, large business wants it, the people want it, the only ones who don’t are Republicans, insurance, and Rx companies.

*Guess what? There ain’t no secondly.

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