People are dying from lack of healthcare because our leaders have chosen, against our wishes, to take the no-dying option (UHC) off the table.
Every other OECD nation has universal health care (UHC), pays far less as a share of GDP (or in absolute dollars), and generally has far better health outcomes. UHC is a slam dunk, and not doing so shows you’re unserious about helping all people survive.
(This post is a written and edited form of this twitter thread)
US healthcare *is* complicated: The private insurance industry acts as an elaborate means of rationing care according to wealth while offering an unreliable sieve of means-tested care to the poor and middle-class.
I can’t pretend to completely understand it. It feels like a lottery.
I’ve never heard a sound, valid reason for health insurance companies to exist (even in Europe). We already have death panels. We already have people who restrict our medications and coverage. We already have Kafkaesque bureaucracies. They’re called health insurance companies.
Universal health care is more efficient and less costly. It frees people from wasteful jobs on the supply side and from fear on the demand side. But it does this all by eliminating markets and competition. So it can’t exist under neoliberalism.
I wonder if the (ideological) problem is with this tension between neoliberal rhetoric and reality — if you admit that adding markets can be coercive and subtracting markets can be liberating, then you admit the whole project of both parties since ~1976 has been an extractive sham!
If you admit UHC is a good idea, you next have to talk about what economic sectors are simply extractive of consumers. Finance, insurance, real estate. Next, you have to talk about what sectors exploit workers (all of them?) UHC is a Trojan horse that they’re (maybe smartly) resisting.
“Capitalism works, but it works by screwing over consumers on the one hand when it’s not screwing over workers on the other hand, and sometimes it’s doing both at the same time. And that’s before you get to environmentalism and the Global South.”
If our elites (including GOP) wanted to kill socialism, they’d do the smart thing and universalize health care at the expense of private insurers.
Instead, they tempt fate, radicalizing everyone who loses a family member to this shambles of an insurance system, for an admittedly huge amount of money.
I want a world where everyone has the best possible health care that our society can provide. That doesn’t mean access. It means medicine, doctors, care — a society that doesn’t shake down a poor black mother for even the smallest of co-pays before it lets her get a check-up
Don’t get me wrong: Implementing a better health care system in the US might legitimately be complicated, legally, politically, and bureaucratically.
But it’s not a complicated issue. People are dying because our leaders have chosen, against our wishes, to take the no-dying option off the table.