My brother was recently in Ecuador visiting his husband’s family. While they were there they went on a bike ride where he managed to go tumbling headfirst over the handlebars and break his hand. Of course he was worried about going to the doctor because he didn’t want to lose a whole day of their vacation and, as a young millennial, he doesn’t have a ton of money saved up for medical bills. When he brought up his concerns to his husband he just laughed and said “It’s no problem, we’ll be in and out in no time. And our healthcare here is government run so you don’t pay.” Sure enough, they went in, he was seen within 30 minutes, got a cast, X-rays, and was on his way in under 2 hours.
Contrast that to the United States, where a 26-year-old man recently died because his GoFundMe came up $50 short to pay for his insulin. I’ve heard it all. “We’re too big to provide healthcare for everyone”. Or, when we try to do it at a state level, “We’re too small”. What’s our excuse? Single payer healthcare is cheaper than our current system. It’s proven by simply looking at every single payer system on the face of the earth. Every country with single payer spends less on healthcare per patient than we do, and yet we still have more sick people per capita than they do. While taxes to pay for it go up, your insurance payments go away, so while you may be paying an additional $50 in taxes, you’re not paying $250 in insurance (or dramatically more, depending on who you are, what your plan is, how big your family is, etc…).
It seems today that the GOP is about to give a $1.4 trillion tax cut to the wealthiest Americans at a time when the rich are doing better than they ever have before. That’s utterly ludicrous to me. We don’t need tax deductible private jets. We need healthcare. And we need it now. If we can afford to add $1.4 trillion to the deficit (and we can’t) we certainly don’t need to be doing it to give tax breaks to billionaires. We need to be helping the people who need it most. We need a responsible healthcare policy. And we can have that.