Saturday, March 03, 2007

Breaking News: Healthcare Is Important To People

Here's a poll shocker... the majority of Americans want the same level of access to healthcare that is offered in pretty much every first-world country besides our own. And yes, people are willing to make some minor sacrifices in order to get a universal, guaranteed system put in place. But given that a certain political party's base so views any level of government to the left of Reagan as socialist that they've actually fought the impending minimum wage increase (for an example), I'm sure we'll get there by 2010 2015 eventually.

From the NY Times-
A majority of Americans say the federal government should guarantee health insurance to every American, especially children, and are willing to pay higher taxes to do it, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

While the war in Iraq remains the overarching issue in the early stages of the 2008 campaign, access to affordable health care is at the top of the public’s domestic agenda, ranked far more important than immigration, cutting taxes or promoting traditional values...

...Americans showed a striking willingness in the poll to make tradeoffs to guarantee health insurance for all, including paying as much as $500 more in taxes a year and forgoing future tax cuts.

But the same divisions that doomed the last effort at creating universal health insurance, under the Clinton administration, are still apparent. Americans remain divided, largely along party lines, over whether the government should require everyone to participate in a national health care plan, and over whether the government would do a better job than the private insurance industry in providing coverage...

...While Democrats are traditionally strong supporters of expanding health coverage, this survey found many Republicans and independents in agreement...

I think that the article is right that healthcare (or more specifically, larger economic worries and concerns as a whole) will be the major domestic decider in the next presidential race... I think we all know what the top foreign decider will be. Those larger economic concerns certainly played an important role in the '06 midterms, particularly in the election of 'purple state' Democrats like Sherrod Brown, Jim Webb, and Jon Tester (to name just a few). I look forward, maybe just naively, to a substantive debate on these issues over the next two years. Like most issues, though, voters are way ahead of the politicians on this one, of course.

But what do I know? I'm one of those crazy liberals you read about from time to time.

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