Galling Reasons for Giving Up
January 20, 2016
How very disappointing that Paul Krugman calls the ongoing fight for guaranteed health care for all Americans a “quixotic attempt” by progressives. Until insurance companies are not lined up at the trough, siphoning off health care dollars in the name of profit, our work is not done, and we will not give up regardless of Krugman’s “three big reasons,” the first the most galling. He claims that we can’t change the system because “incumbent players have a lot of power,” and that private insurers played a major part in killing health reform. His solution? Accept the poor substitute for a universal, single-payer system and continue to allow those insurers to call the shots.
His second “reason” is that additional taxes would need to be raised, but even he admits those taxes would be offset by “a sharp reduction or even elimination of private insurance premiums.”
Krugman’s third “reason” is that those who have good coverage from their employers would balk at having to switch to a different source of coverage. That completely ignores our uncertain job market — that “good coverage” disappears when your job does, and you’re suddenly confronted with the reality of no health insurance. Tying health insurance to employment is an outdated method of providing coverage, as job uncertainty and rising insurance rates attest.
I’m sorry to disappoint Krugman, but this fight to educate people about the need for, and benefits of, universal health care will continue until all Americans have coverage as a right of citizenship.