What I find astounding is that no one seems to recognize the most fundamental fact about healthcare: It will always be the case that one person's catastrophic illness is always going to be paid for by his fellow citizens.
That's just how it is. I'm tired of hearing all the selfish bellyaching: "Don't raise my taxes!" "Don't increase my insurance premiums!" "Don't turn my country socialist!"
It's time to face the truth. When your neighbor gets cancer or needs a transplant, unless he is Bill Gates or Oprah, he is never EVER going to have hundreds of thousands of dollar a year to shell out for his doctor's bills. So think about it. If we start with the truism that someone other than him is going to pick up the tab, there aren't that many options:
(1) He is insured...so his more healthy fellow policy-holders (aka his fellow citizens) foot the bill.
(2) The government foots the bill (public option, medicare, VA, medicaid, etc.). And whose money is that? The taxpayers' (aka his fellow citizens).
(3) Some generous corporation foots the bill out of their profits (Like TheToothFairy.com? Right!! Like that's going to happen!!)
(4) Some church foots the bill out of their charitable donations. And who did the donating? Of course, his fellow citizens.
(5) The government pays for it, and passes the bill on to China...who eventually passes it back to (guess who?) us, the taxpayers (...or to our kids and grandkids, tomorrow's taxpayers).
(8) The bill doesn't get paid; the doctor and the hospital write it off as a loss against their taxes--meaning they pay exactly that much less tax into the national coffers than they would have; and the end result, of course, winds up being the same as if the taxpayers had paid it in the first place.
(7) His family and friends pass the hat to help. Which is obviously the most clear-cut illustration of all.
(8) It doesn't get paid, the poor guy is denied treatment, and dies.
Have I missed any? Can you think of a possible scenario where one person's multi-million dollar healthcare treatment doesn't get paid by his neighbors and fellow citizens? I can't. Call it the haves helping the havenots, or the healthy helping the unhealthy. But don't call it socialism!
Once we face this simple fact (and begin calling it what it is: "humanitarianism"), maybe we can put our heads together in a methodical rational manner in an effort to decide which conduit, or combination of conduits, will most efficiently get the money from your bank account and my bank account to that of our dear friend, relative, or neighbor in need.