What’s a Guy Gotta do for Healthcare Reform?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I certainly have a few questions. My head is full of them lately. Like, why does free ice cream taste better than purchased ice cream? Why does it seem that your feet hurt faster from standing around than from walking? And how did something so nonpartisan as one’s health become such a national uproar?

Now, this is mostly my ignorance. The healthcare debate, namely the one involving a single-payer system or something akin to it, has been raging for decades. And in my ignorance, I looked at this bubble of healthcare fanaticism in a confused way, for why would someone take arms against the guarantee of health provisions for the majority?

And from my original ignorance, this is what I’ve gathered: there’s a few select groups in this country who feel that by having universal healthcare we’ll become Socialist or even Communist, as well as groups who by principle don’t like the idea of their tax dollars benefiting others. Now, that might sound harsh, but look around. It’s true.

But I really don’t think that these people intend to be so harsh about it. At least not most of them. I prefer to think the best of people, and when it comes to topics like this, I can’t help but believe that a thorough amount of thought simply hasn’t been put forth. Like the people at the healthcare rallies holding signs that say “Keep your government hands off my Medicare”…there was obviously a lapse in linear thought with that one! But really, with Medicare as a model, can we realistically think the worst possible scenario with a public option in healthcare reform? The same arguments were made back in the ‘60s just before that program was signed into law; Socialism, Communism! But none of that happened. As a matter of fact, if anyone tried to take Medicare away, they’d be booted out of office so fast that we’d forget why we got rid of them.

And really, socialized programs aren’t evil. Think about that next time your house is on fire, or you need the police, or you’re taking a leisurely stroll through a park. Those are your tax dollars at work, providing services to the public that the private sector either feels it can’t profit from (public parks) or is too important to deny to anyone (police protection). I personally have a hard time differentiating the need for a doctor from the need for a fireman when the moment comes.

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