I try my best to avoid the health care debate when I’m dealing with conservatives. It’s maddening to me how idiotic so many of them are when it comes to this issue in this country. Even when you point out that our life expectancy in the U.S. sits closer to Mexico than it does Canada, and the fact that every country leading the world in average life expectancy has universal health care, those facts have absolutely no impact on their opinion.
They still honestly believe that universal health care will lead to decreased quality of care and shorter lifespans for Americans – even though facts tell us the complete opposite.
Republicans often use the argument that “people come here for the best health care treatment.” And that’s partially right. If you can afford it, the United States does offer some of the best health care in the world. The problem is, the vast majority of Americans can’t – and won’t ever be able to – afford that level of care.
And even when the subject of the Affordable Care Act is brought up, what do Republicans complain about most?
- It increases premiums. (The fact remains it increases them for some, but lowers them for others. Besides, health care spending has risen at its lowest rate in decades.)
- Companies are cutting hours to avoid having to provide health care. (Though, in my opinion, this is about the greed of corporations rather than a “burden” caused by the ACA.)
- It’s forcing people to change health care plans. (Insurance companies were already doing this, now they’re just blaming the health care law for it.)
- People can’t choose the doctor they want. (Another issue that was around well before the ACA.)
- It’s a job killer. (A lie that’s been soundly debunked.)
There are a few others, but these are some of the main ones I continually see.
But what cracks me up the most about all of those Republican talking points is that they’re essentially arguments as to why we need universal health care.
If we had universal health care it would:
- Eliminate the issue of health care premiums.
- Remove the burden from companies to provide health care to its employees.
- Cover practically everything so there’d be no need to change plans.
- Have no “network” to really deal with.
- Actually create thousands of health care jobs as suddenly the market was flooded with new patients seeking treatment.
And the question I always love to ask these people is, “If universal health care is so terrible, why are Canadians happy with it and living longer lives than Americans?”
Usually what follows is some kind of right-wing gibberish full of false equivalency and talking points that sound great, but don’t make a whole lot of sense.
So, as Republicans continue to rail against the Affordable Care Act, an issue that’s obviously going to be pushed even more so now that they control the Senate, what they’re actually doing (even though they’re too dense to realize it) is beating the drum for the need for universal health care in this country.
Because no matter how many issues they try to claim “Obamacare” causes (most fake, some legitimate), they can almost always be solved by passing a true, single-payer health care system in the United States.