Kady M. — I’m still trying to decide if you’re a HillBot, or just somebody so deluded by American Exceptionalism that you’ve drunk the NeoLib Kool-Aid.
Definitely not a Hillbot; she repulses me.
I do believe that the American Experiment as framed in the Constitution is a unique experiment in World History, and it disturbs me to see its erosion into yet-another-mundane-social-welfare-state when it could be so much more.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in a civil society, and thus I do NOT believe in a rollback of ALL of the New Deal and Great Society programs; however, I think they need to be modest in scope and avoid compromising the need for as many individuals as possible to add as much economic value to society as possible. And also, certain programs which are no longer necessary or do not achieve their intended result need to be sunset.
To me, that’s very different than “American Exceptionalism”, which is a touchy-feely arrogant faith-based philosophy wherein the US always wears white hat and the rest of the world either wears a black one or instead is just the innocent barkeep at the local saloon or a bystander hoping to not be around when there’s a gunfight in the street.
But, I find that many on the left do not see the difference between being a believer in the American Experiment and American Exceptionalism, and I tire of trying to explain the difference, to be frank. You either see it or you don’t.
Somehow, the rest of the Civilized World manages to cover just about all its population with affordable and effective healthcare — whether it’s a socialized medicine system, some combination of public and private care, healthcare as a benefit for Government Service with all adult citizens are required to engage in, or another means.
There are two responses to that.
The first is that the money you need to set up a universal care system that actually works exists, but it’s being spent on national defense for the entire civilized world. Broad estimates of what we *actually* spend on national defense, which includes not just the Pentagon budget, but ferrets out all the military spending that buried inside of the CIA, NSA, ICE, ATF, the DOE, and other agencies consistently tops a TRILLION dollars a year.
The Real US National Security Budget: 1.2 Trillion
This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. What if you went to a restaurant and found it rather pricey…
The second is that we CAN get to universal care, but we’ve laid so many economic land mines in the path to getting there that the road won’t be easy. Simplistic proposals such as “Medicare for All” appeal to the rubes because the proposal simply pretends that the land mines aren’t there. Doesn’t work like that.
We in the US have been looking at doing the same since FDR was President — but somehow, Big Corporate Medicine Money always talks, and We the People suffer.
I don’t agree that it’s “Big Corporate Medicine Money” that’s in the way here. I think that the neocon/neolib forces that run the place know that a universal care system would be a huge line item in the discretionary budget, which today looks like this:
If you’re John McCain, the last thing you want to see on that pie chart is the “Medicare and Health” slice being the second largest slice on that pie. Why? Because then the rubes might— gasp — want health care more than they want a big, burgeoning, fat military, and want the Health Care budget to grow while the Miltary Budget stayed the same or shrank.
Can’t have that. :-(
You, as always, overstate the problem in order to come to the NeoLiberal Conclusion that we’ve got The Best System There Is…when this clearly a filthy lie.
Careful here. What makes it a lie or truth depends on the definition of the word “system”. We need to agree on our terminology before we can move forward.
When I refer to “system”, I am referring to the ability of our health care providers to deliver care. It’s THAT which is the best in the world, or at least tied for first. Having been all over the world, and used their facilities in many cases, I don’t see any better (although I was favorably impressed by the premium wing of St. John’s Hospital in Bangalore).
Now, if you extend that definition of “system” to include ACCESSIBILITY, you’re 100% correct. We suck. Too many people can’t access the system, or are limited in their ability to access it, because of COST.
So, chew that over, and see if we’re good or not.