Okay, I don't actually think my last post was the motivation for Paul Krugman's latest column. Although, as an aside, I do know there is someone from the NYTimes in the audience occassionally because every once in a while a NYTimes IP address shows up in my tracker. But this is not about me! This is about Paul Krugman picking up the story about Bush vowing to veto the children's health insurance program. Some from Krugman's article that I thought fit in nicely with what I was trying to say:
This is what you might call callousness with consequences. The White House has announced that Mr. Bush will veto a bipartisan plan that would extend health insurance, and with it such essentials as regular checkups and preventive medical care, to an estimated 4.1 million currently uninsured children. After all, it’s not as if those kids really need insurance — they can just go to emergency rooms, right?
And this is how he ends it:
The bottom line is that the opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments. All they have left are fantasies: horror fiction about health care in other countries, and fairy tales about health care here in America.
I hope this story stays in the news. Who knows what will happen. After all, we are talking about children, and while politicians love to use the phrase "it's about the children," kids obviously don't have a voice in politics.
Moreover, adults who don't have health insurance don't have a voice in politics either. They don't have a voice because either (a) they don't make enough to afford health insurance but they make too much to receive government support, or (b) they are post-college age adults freshly off of their parents' insurance who are convinced that they don't need insurance. Group (a) has no voice because it's too complicated for politicians to talk about "kinda sorta" poor people in 30 second sound bits; group (b) traditionally doesn't vote. Hence, no political voice for adults without health insurance.
But here's the thing. People who have insurance and who have a political voice are growing increasingly dissatisfied with our arbitrary and capricious -- yeah, that's right, I just said arbitrary and capricious! -- private health insurance system.
And that's why it's doomed.