"If a terrorist group just did that in two or three federal buildings, it would not only really hurt some people; it would create a real crisis of confidence here in the United States about our homeland security."No, Joe, the real crisis of confidence revolves around our lousy health care system. We all want to be safe from terrorists, but roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths occur in the U.S. each year because people lack health insurance. That's equivalent to six 9-11's.
It's time to start looking at public health care from another angle: Security.
It's what ought to be at the center of this debate, and it's the one thing private insurance companies will never offer.We spend huge sums of money protecting Americans from terrorists, criminals, drugs and other threats to our security; our lack of health care should be given the same priority.
The single-payer and hybrid systems in place in every other country in the developed world have many admirable features: lower costs, universal coverage, and better health outcomes. But what ought to make us most envious is their security -- it's what they have and we desperately need. If you live in Canada or Germany or France or Japan, there are some things you need never fear. You need never fear that your insurance company will tell you it won't cover treatment for your asthma because you had asthma before they signed you up. You need never fear that you will bankrupt your family because of expensive treatments for a serious illness. You need never fear that you will find yourself without coverage after your insurer dropped you or you lost your job. You might fear getting sick, but you won't fear that your life will be destroyed by not being able to pay for getting sick.