One of the truly amazing and depressing things about the health reform debate is the persistence of fear-mongering over “socialized medicine” even though we already have a system in which the government pays substantially more medical bills (47% of the total) than the private insurance industry (35%).And you know, as more and more boomers become eligible for Medicare, those numbers will only go up.
In a way, this is the flip side of the persistent belief that the free market can cure healthcare, even though there are no places where it actually has; people also believe that government-provided insurance can’t work, even though there are many places where it does — and one of those places is the United States of America.
We already have a perfectly good public option in place. It's called Medicare. Why not expand it to make it an option for everyone who doesn't qualify for it already? Let younger Americans buy into it. The United States government provides health care for tens of millions of Americans already. It works. It has worked for decades. Reform it, make it an option for everyone, bring down health care costs for everyone due to competition, problem solved. I know I'll never see a dime of the social security money I'm paying into the system now. Ever. At least help me out in the insurance department so I can stay healthy and keep putting taxes into the system, you dig?
Ahh, but that of course would make the insurance giants unhappy. After all, that's what really matters to Congress.
[UPDATE 9:18 AM] Instead, we get our "responsible" media lying to people about the plan. No wonder people are screaming "Get your gubment hands off my Medicare."
[UPDATE 9:32 AM] Add Politico to the "Obama will euthanize old people!" scare bandwagon.