Health insurance is nothing more than a privatized form of Socialism. Yes, it would be better called socialized capitalism.
“What?” you say. “Am I nuts?”
Ok, so let’s break it down and take a closer look at it.
If we can agree that our social security system is socialism, we can use that as a model for comparative purposes. In our social security program, all working people pay into the program so that as aged members of the workforce reach retirement, they can draw income from the system to provide for their continued support. In other words, the cost to protect a few is borne by the entire community at large. Isn’t that what insurance does?
So why do we prefer the privatization of insurance for social protections like healthcare? Why do we put profit-making middlemen between ourselves as the community investors and ourselves as the recipients of health benefits? Is it because If we dare take care of ourselves, we would be labeled socialists?
We are all too comfortable allowing the cost of health insurance to be borne by our employers, thinking well, that’s one more thing I don’t have to pay for. But is it really? The cost of health insurance as a benefits package when added to our salary is ultimately accounted for as a business expense that raises the cost of goods sold which ultimately is paid by us as the consumers of those same goods. So, in the end, we all pay for it, whether we have an employer with a benefits package or not.
Now you might say we could eliminate the employer as the payer and just get a larger salary in lieu of the benefits package, and we could buy our own insurance. Ah, but the reason it’s not done that way is that most people don’t make enough salary in the first place and the added funds would be kept and spent elsewhere, thus defeating the intent of providing quality healthcare.
So, we must acknowledge that left to our own devices, too many would continue without any health insurance, and left to employers to finance the cost, far too many unemployed will go uncovered. Insurance companies won’t provide the service for free, so what’s the answer. There has to be a system of insurance that guarantees healthcare for everybody. It should not require registration or application. It should be available to all citizens equally, so no one need apply. It requires a central administrator with no stake in the claim to manage disbursements and logically that should not be a private entity who profits from their own decisions. So it must be “us.” But who are we, if we are not our own government. It’s supposed to be a representative democracy, but so very few of “us” trust the “them” to act in good faith. Such is the culture of corruption we allow. If we make our own decisions and thereby undertake to govern ourselves are we socialists for eliminating private profits in the process chain of events?
Before you start with all the complaints about the government being an inefficient pile of red tape, consider this: Medicare has run efficiently for decades. Also, the government has administered successful healthcare for our Armed Forces worldwide through a system of base hospitals with Armed Forces personnel, staff and doctors. My father was in the Air Force and we never lacked anything in providing us the very best healthcare… all for “free.” Ha! You know better. Dad worked for it, as did every other person in the Air Force and the cost of providing that service was borne by the labor and the savings created by that community. The government understood at its inception that the well-being of each and every serviceman and their family was essential to the efficient operation of each service branch as a whole.
Why is that? Well consider this. The military has its own budget and that is the one budget congress is always generous with. The Pentagon administers its own programs and military healthcare runs without any hiccups caused by a meddling congress.
The problem has been and remains congress. Our first priority must be to fix our malfunctioning system of campaign funding, lobbyists and term limits and eliminate the influence of big money over governance. Without secure elections, even that is not possible. We never have to cross the bridge of decisions if that bridge is unavailable to us.