Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Al Gore: Healthcare is a Right

Al Gore isn't running for president - yet - but he has come out in favor of single-payer healthcare.
Called "Healthcare Is A Right," Gore released the following statement on his Current television channel:

I strongly support universal, single-payer, government-provided -- or, government-funded -- healthcare. It doesn't mean the government runs it, it has competition among the different providers. But I just think that we've long since reached the stage that its immoral to put people in a situation where they cannot get the medical care they need because their incomes aren't high enough. I think it ought to be a matter of right and our current system just doesn't work, its way too expensive. The quality of healthcare is excellent for those who have enough money to buy the very best, but lower-income and low middle-income Americans are not getting good healthcare and so many now can't afford the private health insurance that they're going without insurance, millions and millions of people. And I think that to eliminate the incredibly ridiculous cost of all this unnecessary paperwork and different standards for different companies, it is time to have universal health insurance.
Gore touches on an important point - single-payer, government provided healthcare doesn't mean the government runs it. And it's not socialism either, regardless of what you hear from Republican talking heads who only seek to misinform and mislead the public. Medicare is not socialism and neither is Medicaid. To learn what government program really is socialism and how to tell the difference, check out my post "Don't Let "Socialized" Medicine Scare You" over at BFM.

Gore led the way on environmental issues and the Republicans scoffed at him, so I don't expect them to respect his opinion on healthcare reform. It doesn't matter what they think though. Gore is credible. The Republicans aren't. They were wrong about global warming and they're wrong about single-payer healthcare being "socialized" medicine too.


abi said...

I keep wishing Gore would run. But then again, when he did run in 2000, his health care plan was nothing like what he's talking about here.

You're right about the term 'socialized medicine.' Republicans have been using it as a weapon pretty effectively for years.

Kathy said...

Abi, I think Gore's views on health care have evolved as the situation deteriorated. I don't think voters were as open to a single-payer plan back then either, as they are now. Bush and his insurance buddies have only themselves to blame for turning the public against private insurance.