The politics of selfishness trumps decency once again

The Associated Press did its own poll about the attitudes of the American public when it comes to health care and health care reform.  The results demonstrated once again that the politics of selfishness reigns supreme in the United States today and that we’re still in the age of Reagan, in which self-interest trumps all other concerns.

When asked if they liked or disliked a proposed ban on rejecting applicants to health care plans because of preexisting conditions, 82% said they favored the ban…that is until the question was posed to include the statement that it meant that they would probably have to pay more for their own health care insurance.  Then, the number in favor of the ban on preexisting condition clauses fell to 42%, while those who opposed a ban rose to 31%.

To exemplify this attitude, the A.P. article on its own survey quotes:

“Well, for one, I know nobody wants to pay taxes for anybody else to go to the doctor — I don’t,” said Kate Kuhn, 20, of Acworth, Ga. “I don’t want to pay for somebody to use my money that I could be using for myself.”

Kate, let me ask you a few questions:

  • Do you know whether or not you paid more for your health care last year than if you didn’t have insurance and instead paid retail fees to the doctor for every call and procedure?  Who paid the difference?
  • Who paid for your public school teachers and your books, assuming you went to public school?
  • Who paid for the road in front of your house that’s paved? Or the road to the mall you no doubt frequent?
  • Who paid the part of taxes that you or your parents didn’t pay because you got a tax break on the mortgage and taxes on your house? Remember that if you lived in a bigger house than others, the value of the taxes that others had to pay in your place was greater.

The question is what defines a just society, a society which upholds the morality of the Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan and other unnamed religions?  In a wealthy society, just like we all pay for roads that only some use and schools that only some go to, isn’t it just and ethical to also pay so that everyone can get quality medical care?

Now that I’m off my high horse…I’ll point out that the premise of the question—that allowing preexisting conditions will raise everyone else’s insurance—is probably not so. 

Remember that if everyone is covered, insurance companies will no longer be putting themselves at an economic disadvantage by accepting high-cost customers that competitors reject.

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