USA USA USA. Don't we all feel pride when that is chanted at an international event? We are proud of our country,--or are we only proud of part of it? Our troops are fighting to protect our country,--or are they just protecting the well off, and not the helpless? We provide aid to international victims of flood, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, but we don't want to provide healthcare to our own, if they hadn't “earned” it. It's true that healthcare isn't a right, but it is an essential part of every civilized society, except our own.
Until the “Me Generation”, came along and began the worship of the dollar above all things, you could generally get healthcare, if you could find a doctor, any doctor. My father was a doctor who started out in the depression. When someone needed help he was there. There was never a question about ability to pay. He some time got vegetables or a ham, sometimes nothing. That's the way it used to be when times were hard. Now, if you don't have adequate insurance, you're only hope is the emergency room at a hospital. There you will have long waits and the very expensive treatment that may be passed on to the taxpayers.
If you fall upon hard times, you can no longer expect help from your neighbors. You are also to blame if you didn't inherit good intelligence genes, or proper family supervision or have well off parents. Therefore, your children do not deserve healthcare either. Thus the cycle is repeated over and over.
Many, in good health, think they don't need insurance, or feel they currently have other priorities. I was like that when I retired from the Air Force, and had 80% coverage while in excellent health. As Emeril would say- “BAM”, I had a million dollar hospital bill. Face it, everyone will sometime need healthcare, or their parents, or children, or other family members. Therefore, everyone needs to pay for healthcare and it should be taken out by withholding pay, like income tax, and social security. Credit can be deducted from income tax, but the healthcare tax would not be refundable. It would be kind of like life insurance, except the reverse. In life insurance you win, if you die young, but lose if you live a long life. With healthcare you lose if you die young, but win if you get old and need more medical attention. Many condemn this as socialism, I consider it civilized society.
There's still plenty of room for free enterprise and capitalism.
I'm a Republican, but I voted for Obama, principally because of his healthcare agenda. Unfortunately, the President chose to offer up the program, like a referee at a basketball game. He threw the ball up in the air and let the Reps and Dems squabble over it. The Reps were only interested in crushing Obama, so they threw up every obstacle they could. The Dems saw a chance to forward their own personal agendas. Red Herrings, irrelevant things like abortion and illegal aliens were injected into the arguments instead of being addressed separately. There was a total lack of leadership by the President, who should have stood up for the public option. That option, with a 5% surcharge, would have allowed private industry to compete with the government, and still make a profit, while holding down the future cost increases. Since this isn't included, cost will continue to explode. The lack of leadership was similarly displayed in the financial reform package. Dems were able to prevent meaningful regulation of Fannie and Freddie, while Reps blocked similar regulation of the banks. Therefore the two entities that were responsible for our financial collapse were given a clear shot at doing it again.
We can now look at Obamacare as half-full, or half-empty. In either case it's a poor excuse for healthcare. The only bright spot is that it is a starting point that should have happened decades ago. Reps and Dems have a chance, if they will put self-interests aside, to simultaneously provide real healthcare for all Americans, while holding down the exploding costs. However, it is probably unrealistic and naïve to think the politicians of either stripe, would place the best interest and welfare of the citizens ahead of the interests of institutions with the big money. Alas and Alack