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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Listen Up, Mr. Maverick

Rex, my notorious adversary, I’ve seen some incredibly controversial articles that you have written, and up until now, I’ve managed to keep my hands to myself. But when you touched the single-payer health care system, I must admit, I was absolutely unable to keep my fingers off the keyboard. Indeed, I hope I don’t wreck my laptop as I furiously type out a rebuttal. I wonder if I should even call it one, as it’s less of a rebuttal and more of a declaration that this may have been the most ignorant you have ever been. And it shows especially when you speak of the evil that is the single-payer health care system.
You begin by claiming that the single-payer health care system is an “evil, socialist and harmful policy.” Before I attempt to untangle the absolute untruth of this unfair claim, I must ask you, what world do you live in, in which health insurance is an evil? Health insurance offers protection from the high costs of medical care (and they are exorbitant) and access to preventive and routine care. Do you realize how many individuals who cannot afford health insurance forgo their routine and preventive checkups, and only consider health care when they have no choice? Let me emphasize, lest it doesn’t enter your head: it’s because they have no choice. How dare you call a system that aids individuals in this position an evil? And how, may I ask, is it harmful? Is it harmful to ensure that the government has a responsibility to maintain the well-being of its citizens? Is it harmful to ensure that families who are barely surviving and forced to abandon preventive care, thus making them even more vulnerable to health problems, are getting the care they need and deserve?
You then go on to make a poor metaphor for the single-payer health care system, stating that those who support it are “fine with holding a doctor at gunpoint and forcing him or her to perform a medical procedure and paying him or her a price that you see fit, not a price that he or she sets.” Well, let me tell you something about doctors; almost all of them support the single-payer health care insurance. Doctors are not there to set prices on medical procedures; they are there to save as many lives as possible. The fact that you use the doctor as the main victim of a single-payer health care system is both disgusting and revealing of the lack of knowledge you have regarding a doctor’s occupation. As KHN said, “[doctors] want to make a difference through social justice. That’s why [they’re there]” (1). They are not in their position to make a profit off of raising the cost of medical procedures; they are there, again, to save lives. 
But this isn’t even the most appalling thing you’ve said; you call health care a “good and service that is subject to the fluctuations of supply and demand.” No, Rex. Health care isn’t a good or a service. It is a human right. How dare you group health care along with goods such as fruits, jewelry or car service? We are not speaking about fixing the paint of a car or the rare occurrences of finding guavas in the grocery store. We are speaking about a right to proper health. You cannot tell me that having proper health is a service that is dependent on how much money you have? You cannot tell me that an individual’s hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, and emergency medical costs are a good? Are you telling me that a child who is dying from cancer should be denied health care because his family may be financially unfit to pay for the good or service that is health care? Are you telling me that a woman who has been diagnosed with a rare disease, which could have been prevented had she been covered under health insurance, is undeserving to live because she simply cannot afford the good or service that is health care? Think on the claims you make, Rex. Take the time to reevaluate them. Perhaps you’ll finally see that they are unfounded, and frankly, often ignorant.
You then state that “when it comes to any federal government program, administrative and bureaucratic costs are through the roof.” Well, here, your economic knowledge is clearly not even hitting the roof. Single-payer coverage could actually lower health care costs because “administrative expenses are much lower for a government-funded system than for a private insurer.” With the added advantage of no competing insurance companies (which should be the case because why should a human right be tossed around as a capitalist competition?), there’s less money spent on “marketing and advertising” (2). 
You also point to Canada as an awful example of the single-payer health care system in use. Interesting, especially since you (purposely, I imagine) forgot to mention that Canadians have the option to purchase additional supplemental coverage. Yes, the single-payer system is limited based on what services can be covered for patients, but that is because it’s in its nature to be, as it is funded by the government. But isn’t some coverage for all better than no coverage for some and full coverage for those who may be able to afford it? I already suspect you disagree with me, since I do not believe you see health insurance as a human right, which may perhaps be your greatest intellectual failing (and you’ve revealed a lot so far). 
Rex, I eagerly await your additional articles, and you may eagerly await my rebuttals. I also hope you don’t find yourself in a hospital one day, surrounded by the exorbitant costs of medicine, because then you’ll be horrified to discover just how much a single-payer health care system could have helped in paying your bill. 
Sources:

  1. https://khn.org/news/once-its-greatest-foes-doctors-are-embracing-single-payer/
  2. https://www.pfizer.com/news/featured_stories/featured_stories_detail/universal_healthcare_vs_single_payer_healthcare