I was listening to a talk radio show today, and heard the following conversation, which has been paraphrased for the purposes of this blog:
(Show host): Governor O'Malley proposes to spend $500 million to provide health insurance to Marylanders who don't currently have it. What do you think about that?
(Guest panelist): When I walked in today, it was tough to carry my head high as a liberal.
(Expert blogger) (me): Gee, why would you ever be ashamed of your party or your Governor? Please Continue.
(Panelist): But I think this is the greatest idea. We Marylanders are already paying for these uninsured citizens in the form of higher premiums for our health insurance. All the Governor wants to do is shift the entity paying for it so that it is handled by the government. I cannot think of a better way for the state to spend its money than to provide for the health of its citizens and prevent them from going to the emergency room.
Oh, brother. The thought that people should pay for their own health care never entered this person's mind. Nor did the point that many uninsured people are here illegally, and shouldn't be using any of our services. Nor the point that many uninsured people can actually afford health insurance but choose to roll the dice.
The current health care system could use much improvement, but having the government (the taxpayers) pay for health insurance for everybody is not the place to start.