Letter: Hillman rebuttal
I’m writing in response to Mark Hillman’s opinion piece (“Jared Polis’ health care hypocrisy”), not to defend Jared Polis but to counter Hillman’s cynical, self-interested statements about universal health care.
As a matter of fact, I agree with Hillman that health care is not a human right. And yes, somebody has to pay for it.
But our current system of paying for it is completely f’d up. We already have socialized health care – it’s called insurance, and it’s stupid inefficient. We pay more for health care than any other developed nation, and we get worse outcomes to boot.
And what about “rationing,” that specter that folks like Hillman always raise? We already have it! There is never enough health care to go around. Our current system prioritizes those with insurance and the ability to pay; others get sick and die in disproportionate numbers. In a universal system, health care is allocated according to medical necessity – as determined by doctors, rather than by insurance companies.
The reason to move to a single-payer system – “Medicare for All” – is simple expediency: it will cost less and be fairer.
Hillman notes that state spending on health care has increased unsustainably in the past decade, and he blames “do-gooder politicians” doling out “goodies.” He’s referring to the requirement that insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions.
We do indeed have a crisis in health care spending. The status quo ain’t working; Obamacare is a crazy patch on a broken system. The solution is to do what every other developed country has done, and institute universal health care. Hillman would take us back to the dark ages of pre-existing conditions, when insurance sucked even more than it does now.
Hillman and his ilk like to decry “democratic socialism.” They are cruel ideologues who don’t know what they’re talking about, or who get paid enough by their corporate masters to not care. I lived in England for several years and have spent plenty of time in the social democracies of Europe – believe me, they work just fine. There is no loss of liberty, and a lot more compassion.
People like Mark Hillman don’t have your best interest at heart. They seek to weave a libertarian spell to make you believe that any health problems you have are a moral failing brought on by bad decisions… that you’re on your own and society owes you nothing… that the answer on every policy question is to deregulate, privatize, and just keep letting the rich get richer and more powerful.
They don’t actually hate socialism. They just want it all for themselves.