Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Free Advice, Five Cents (The Doctor Is In)

At first I wasn't sure I was reading this sign correctly, it was so obviously and blatantly off the mark.  But it does seem that the person brandishing it is an Obama devotee, who supports the Affordable Care Act because she believes that it provides "free HEALTHCARE."  It doesn't do anything of the kind, in fact.  It doesn't actually provide any kind of healthcare, since it is about health insurance.  As such, the law has its virtues, but it's far from fixing the mess our health care system is in.

Even more ironic, Obama himself is opposed to free healthcare and to its advocates, who he thinks want to turn America into communist Canuckistan.  People who advocated a single-payer system, also known as Medicare for All, were shut out of the Congressional debate; a "public option" for people who couldn't afford commercial insurance was one of the first provisions Obama ditched during negotiations.  What sick bastard would want to provide free healthcare?  Certainly not Obama.

It also seems to me that "free healthcare" isn't a great slogan in the first place.  Nothing is free, and certainly not health care, which is more expensive in the US than in most of the developed world.  A state-run health care system like Britain's would be cheaper, more effective, and more efficient, but it wouldn't be free.  The question is, or ought to be, how people are going to pay for it.  The Right loves to harp on this point, and throwing "free" around simply plays into their hands by giving them an easy diversion from the real issues.  Of course they're right about the cluelessness of liberals, but that doesn't mean they're any smarter.