Monday, June 27, 2016

Universal Health Care

Universal health care? It really shouldn’t be very hard to decide in favor of it.

Back in the dark ages of this nation we had fire protection that functioned on the same basis that health care does today. There were privately owned fire fighting companies which sold their services to homeowners who could afford to pay for them. Some homeowners could not afford coverage and left their homes not covered. Believe it or not, people even paid for different levels of coverage.

If a home caught fire the company which was paid to protect it came and put the fire out. Companies which were paid to protect nearby homes came and prevented those homes from catching fire. Homes without protection caught fire and burned to the ground.

It was a disaster, though, because some companies did a lousy job and came to the scene and didn’t put the fire out. Or they didn’t come to the scene at all because they were dealing with somebody else’s house fire. Or because all the firefighters were all drunk. Fires spread because, “Hey, we’re not paid to protect that house.”

Then somebody said, “You know what? We need universal fire protection.”

So today when you have a fire the truck shows up and they put out the fire. Done. The fire captain doesn’t ask to see your insurance card before he lets his guys get out of the truck, and no one discusses copays or deductibles. They put out the fire, roll up their hoses and leave.

People wind up standing out in the street holding signs saying “Thank you firefighters.”  I’ve seen it many times. They are holding those signs and they have tears in their eyes. We've had universal fire protection for a couple of centuries now. No one seems to think it isn't working, no one dislikes it, and for damned sure no one wants to change it.

But when someone says “we need universal health care” he is shouted down with cries of “socialism” and “you’re fucking nuts” and "government takeover," in many cases by the same people who just months ago were holding signs saying, “Thank you firefighters.”

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