Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Public Opt-Out

39/365 - Mr. Rove’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal attacks the the public option with the same, tired, neo-con rhetoric that plagued America for the last decade.  Sorry for all the adjectives, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to Rove. What I hate to admit is that Rove is right for all the wrong reasons. The public option is not the way to fix America’s joke of a health care system.

In my last two blogs (blog one, blog two) about health care, I’ve suggested that the line between government responsibility and free market can be defined by parsing out the difference between rights and commodities. If the government can do something better than the private sector, like build an interstate highway system, or run a national miliarty, etc., it should do those things. Government exists for this purpose: to enable us to accomplish things together that we never could on our own. But there is an upper limit to what the government can accomplish insofar as it acts as the guarantor of our inalienable rights. The public option risks failing to realize this.

Let’s start with the obvious. The government cannot mandate that each and every American citizen be healthy. It could, however, offer tax credits to those healthy enough not to increase the drain on the health care system. It cannot offer diamond encrusted care plans to 300 million people. And yet, it can offer basic coverage that reflects our right to life.

The public option is not evil because it threatens private insurance companies. It is simply the wrong solution to the right problem. What America needs is a tiered health care system where the bottom tier is 100% government subsidized. Basic coverage is available to anyone who wants to go to the doctor. This reduces the burden on both the public and private sector. No longer do private insurance companies have to factor in check ups, basic prescriptions, simple procedures, etc., into their premiums. And the government can focus its full attention on streamlining that first tier.

This provides basic care to everyone in a way that avoids the emergency room loophole that tax payers already subsidize. We can put our tax dollars to good use for the betterment of the citizens of this country.

If you’re interested in the principles behind this idea, feel free to check out my post on emergent socialism.

One Comment

  1. THIS IS IT!

    The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It’s a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives.

    This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

    The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

    You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

    From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

    FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

    SPREAD THE WORD

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

    God Bless You

    Jack Smith — Working Class