Stateside

Health care survey: Americans still care about one another

There’s heartening evidence that– despite the best efforts of free-marketeers and the health insurance industry– Americans are still attracted to the idea of taxpayer-financed universal health insurance.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll on health care, 80 percent of respondents said “providing health care coverage for all Americans, even if it means raising taxes,” is more important than “holding down taxes, even if it means some Americans do not have health care coverage.”

Sometimes the prevailing political/social/economic culture in the USA can almost convince you that the ethos of everyone for him/herself has triumphed over the ethos of collective responsibility for each other. As Emmylou Harris sings bitterly in her song “Time in Babylon”:

So put that conscience on the shelf
Keep the best stuff for yourself
Let the rest fight over what is left…

It’s good to be reminded that this kind of thinking still hasn’t prevailed.

In addition, 62 percent prefer a “universal health insurance program, in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that’s run by the government and financed by taxpayers,” over “the current health insurance system in the United States, in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance.”

Thirty-seven percent think the US health care system is worse than the government-run Canadian system, compared to 29 percent think the US system is better.

I suppose we can look forward to the health insurance industry PR machine once again cranking out the usual Canadian health care horror stories. Funny how they never mention the far more numerous and deadly US health care failures and disasters.

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