Time for US to Join Rest of World on Health Care

Published June 9, 2018

It is disgraceful that the richest country on earth is the only one in the industrialized world that does not provide national health insurance to its citizens. The U.S. Republican Party is the only governing body on the planet that insists on leaving health insurance in the hands of private insurers that have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits. This is why we pay far more for health care than any other country. It is why our system is mind-numbingly complicated. And it is why we still have millions of people who can’t access or afford health insurance.

Obamacare was a good-faith effort to provide national health insurance while leaving it in the private sector – at the insistence of Republican legislators who would not even consider a public option for people denied coverage by private insurers because of pre-existing conditions. Instead the GOP grudgingly agreed that if insurers had to insure everyone, then everyone had to be required to buy insurance. They have since scrapped this mandate, predictably sending premiums soaring.

Before Obamacare, Republicans were fine with private insurers playing God in deciding who got health insurance and who didn’t based on profitability. They seem to want to go back to that system. This should not be a partisan issue. Single-payer nonprofit health insurance is the most efficient way to protect the health of all citizens. It is why the rest of the world does it this way. There isn’t a single country that would trade its health care system for ours. Republicans talk a lot about keeping us safe but apparently this does not include keeping us healthy – even if we are more likely to die from disease than a foreign military strike.