The Affordable Care War: Compassion vs. Stupidity

Over the weekend, I was pleased to hear Billy Bragg give a passionate defense of publicly-provided health care at the end of his set at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco. “Damn right it’s socialism,” he said, “because socialism is organized compassion.” I couldn’t agree more.

But what really stands in the way of providing health care for all in the richest country on Earth? The power of private insurance companies?  Right-wing ideological extremism? While these can’t be ruled out, the real culprit – the real force preventing a majority of Americans from recognizing that their lives would be dramatically improved by a modern system of socialized health care appears to be stupidity.

I call as my first witness a man with ten children, all covered by Medicare, who doesn’t think government should be involved in health care or health insurance:

How do we even begin talking about health outcomes, comparative costs, or philosophical issues like the positive freedom when the people we’re talking to are capable of this level of contradictory behavior?

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