For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class health care system? Yet while we spend the most of any advanced nation in the world to get care — more than $10,000 a year per person — we get the worst results.
No surprise, then, that Medicare for All is now backed by 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and (get this) 52 percent of Republicans!
So — why isn’t Congress responding to this overwhelming public demand for universal coverage?
I suspect that one big reason for Washington’s big yawn over the people’s plea for sweeping reform is that our lawmakers don’t personally feel the financial pain and emotional distress that are inflicted on millions of regular Americans by a system built on private greed.
After all, their health needs are met by a double-dose of the socialistic care that they so furiously deny to our families.
First, they’re given big taxpayer subsidies to cover the cost of their insurance, with you and me paying about 72 percent of the price. But second, there’s a secretive medical center located right in the U.S. Capitol building that provides a full-blown system of — shhhhh — health care socialism to our governing elites.
Called the Office of the Attending Physician (or OAP), it provides a complete range of free medical service for lawmakers. No appointment needed and no waiting — they walk in and doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and other professionals tend to them right away.
No need to show an insurance card, and they never get a bill. But they do get what a former OAP staffer calls “the best health care on the planet.” Thus, members feel no urgency to restructure a system that’s working beautifully — for them.
So, to get good care for all of us, we might start by taking away the pampered care that lawmakers have quietly awarded to themselves.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. Distributed by OtherWords.org.