Those pesky, pesky facts. Fact: Well-off – that's right – well-off upper middle class people in the US have poorer outcomes on a host of health factors than people of the same social class in Britain.
The right-wing response? Mumble about statistics, hint at the market, and generally miss the point. Many on the right are too scared to admit to reality. It was like that with Iraq, it was like that with the idiotic Bush tax cuts, and it's like that with health care. Well, too bad, the time for debate is over and we progressives are proposing concrete steps for action.
There really isn't much of a dispute here – we need to improve our health system. That first means real reform that reduces the huge amounts of money we spend on unnecessary, ineffective, and often harmful drugs and treatments pushed by the drug companies and the health industry. There is no way that a single person, even if he were a medical doctor with ten PhDs, can figure that out on his own. That's why we need government intervention and why all the wasted words of the right on "spending your health dollars wisely" are just so much hot air.
Next, we need to make sure those effective treatments are available to all. Again, mush from the right on how to do this. With an average family health plan cost at $12,000 a year, there is no way anything other than concerted government action is going to bring any significant numbers of people into the system. Again, we progressives have plans for action – like the kid's health expansion – that are being blocked by the opposition.
The tide is turning in this country. The game of denying reality has come up against what even a complicit media, a stable of hate-radio ranters, and some of the truly most inane ideas – like privatizing Social Security – could not overcome. A solid wall of voters. Voters who are angry. Voters who are energized. Voters who are sick of the lies and deception and who want to work together to solve the problems facing this country — not throw their neighbors out into the street just because they have a sick child or made a bad investment decision in their retirement account.
I welcome people – regardless of party – who want to work for real solutions to our healthcare and other problems. I reject those who live to confuse, intimidate, and delay from their perches of privilege.
Watch out, my ideological friends. You too will grow old and even may encounter disabilities and setbacks in life. Unless you boast the financial resources of a Bush or Cheney, you may find yourself relying on the systems you have attempted to dismantle. And, finally you may find yourself changing your tune.
But don't worry – we won't leave you out while we fix the system, as tempting as that may be. Jack Aubrey would never leave even the most muddleheaded, thumbfingered dolt of crewmember behind on one of his cutting out expeditions, and we can do no less. Only get out of the way. We have work to do.