The Freedom To Choose

In the height of the dysfunctional battle over the Affordable Care Act, GOP members are stepping forward and once again arguing that “Americans should have the right to choose”.  These spokespersons, live Governor Rick Scott, look earnestly in the camera and spout these words.  “Americans should have the right to choose any health insurance the want… “, or words to that effect.

Sounds right, doesn’t it.  One should be able to buy a Toyota or a Chevy, or any other car, or no car at all.  One should be able to wear blue shirts, or red ones, or any other color, or no shirt at all.   Isn’t that freedom?  Isn’t that the American way?

Think about this for a minute.   Governor Scott is talking about healthcare insurance.  This isn’t a choice about cars or shirts.  This is a choice about a matter far too complicated for the “free market”.  Few Americans know enough about medical matters to choose one course of medical treatment from another.  Most Americans depend upon the medical profession to prescribe the best treatment protocol and expect their insurance to cover the cost.  If their coverage is inadequate, these unfortunate Americans pursue inferior treatments, are either denied care, or are stuck with huge bills.

The real American world features large differences in individual’s ability to understand the implications of healthcare insurance and just as large differences in ability to afford the premiums.  So what do these demagogic words really mean?

The right to choose healthcare insurance, including the right to choose none, means the less wealthy, especially the unemployed, will possess substandard or no healthcare insurance… unless there are clearcut standards of what represents “basic” coverage and basic coverage is available for all.

That is not what Governor Scott has in mind.

About 80% of insured Americans receive their healthcare coverage through their employer.  Consequently, most Americans are insulated from the full cost of insurance.  In essence, most Americans already do not exercise any right to choose.  They are handed the answer.


Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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