What's so bad about health care?

Why does the GOP oppose health care? Photo: Keith Ellison

SANTA CRUZ, October 14, 2013 — In the face of a government shutdown and endless partisan bickering, Americans are exhausted. Regardless of where we find ourselves in the country’s vast, factional spectrum, chances are we have grown tired of the mud slinging and the insults, and we would just like our government to get back to work.

Can this dysfunction really be about health care?

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To believe the conventional wisdom being parlayed by the media, a small faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives are refusing to agree to a continuing resolution on a budget unless President Obama agrees to defund, abort, or otherwise dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Fringe groups of Republicans have decided that the piece of legislation is tantamount to tyranny. They also claim that it violates the U.S. constitution, a document they adore, if not completely understand.

It is interesting that, to many Americans, the Affordable Care Act falls far short of what they believe the country needs. At a time when over 45,000 Americans die every year because they are unable to afford adequate health care, a shift in the care delivery model is crucial. Most developed western democracies provide comprehensive health care to their people free of charge. Canada and Mexico, our two closest neighbors, are immediate examples, though most Canadians would never characterize it as a form of tyranny. 

Fringe members of the Republican party have been able to rile up the very people being marginalized by the current for profit model. By selling the myth that health care is a tool of oppression, the GOP have been able to hijack any conversation about reforming health care in this country. They are counting on their base not looking around the world at successful examples of free, comprehensive health care being demonstrated by dozens of other countries, all of which lack the resources of the United States. 

For Americans who believe health care ought to be a right rather than a privilege, it is difficult to reconcile living in a country unfazed by a defense budget of over $660 billion but without comprehensive health care for its citizens. 

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Russ Rankin writes about hockey, music & politics. You can find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He also sings for Good Riddance and Only Crime. Find out what he’s up to by checking out his website.


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Russ Rankin

Santa Cruz, California native Russ Rankin is the vocalist for the seminal California punk band Good Riddance, the hard rock band Only Crime as well as currently performing original songs as a solo artist. Rankin is a dedicated vegan, an avid animal rights advocate, a political activist and has been a regular columnist for AMP Magazine and New Noise Magazine as well as contributing to various magazines such as Alternative Press, Razorcake and others. 

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