OK, I’m really frustrated on this one. I’m torn in different directions.
On the one hand, The system’s not working well. Costs are out of control; and it’s a death-spiral. A lot of people can’t afford quality health care, so they go without. And they continue to go without until their health deteriorates to the point they have to do something about it. Then they’re often forced to destroy their finances, or take advantage of treatment policies that say that hospitals can’t turn away critically ill, or rely on government programs. It’s demoralizing, depressing, and it’s destroying lives, physically and emotionally. It’s also a drag on our economy. Preventative health care, like preventative car maintenance, is much cheaper than catastrophic treatment. And ultimately others pick up the cost of that catastrophic treatment for those who can’t afford their own care.
This one is kinda personal. I’ve got a very close friend who’s battling for his life. He DOES have insurance, but his out of pocket expenses are still bankrupting him. And he’s too proud to take help from others, so he’s probably going to take himself off the transplant list. His reasoning? He can’t afford the debt himself, and if he keeps working till he dies, his employer-paid life insurance will take care of his current debt load, instead of burdening his family even further to get the life-saving operation. Not at all rational, but it shows what this kind of long-term stress can do to an intelligent human being.
Our nation should be able to provide better health care to our citizens (note I said “nation”, not necessarily “government”).