Friday, April 07, 2017
Most Americans Think Healthcare Should Be A Right For All
All developed nation, except the United States, view healthcare as a right for all of their citizens -- and have instituted health systems that provide decent health care for everyone. And as the chart above shows, most Americans agree with that view. They think all citizens should be able to get the health care that they need, regardless of their income.
That's why the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was so unpopular. Instead of providing health care for all citizens, the Republican plan was actually a step backwards -- a plan that did not control costs and would take health insurance away from millions of Americans. This is because most congressional Republicans don't view healthcare as a right. They see it as a privilege -- a product to be sold only to those who can afford to purchase it.
But opposition to the Republican "plan" does not mean Americans are in love with Obamacare. While they recognize that Obamacare is better than what existed before, it is far from a good plan. It doesn't give all citizens the right to decent healthcare, and it does nothing to control the costs of healthcare. But Americans have made it clear that they don't want to go backwards -- they want Obamacare fixed. They want everyone covered with some kind of heal insurance, and they want medical costs to come down. They don't understand why other countries can cover all their citizens while spending far less per capita than the United States spends.
And they have a point. There is no reason why the United States can't cover all its citizens, and do that for less than its currently spending. Well, no reason except that our elected officials don't have the courage to do what is needed. Many are bought and paid for by the giant private insurance companies, and the rest are afraid they won't be re-elected if they act boldly to solve this nation's healthcare problems.
It's time to consider a solution though, and that solution is fairly obvious to many -- institute a government-run, single-payer health care insurance system (like the Medicare system, only covering all citizens). This would not only provide healthcare for all, but would do so at a lower price (since insurance company profits would be eliminated, and the system could negotiate prices with drug companies and medical care providers). It could be paid for through payroll and employer taxes (both of which would be less than companies or workers are paying now).
Unfortunately, that won't happen as long as Republicans (who don't think healthcare is a right) control our government. They must be voted out of power, or the healthcare system will never be fixed.
The chart above was made from a Reuters / Ipsos Poll with a five-day rolling average of 5,343 nationwide respondents.