Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wanna Escape Obamacare?

At the end of 2009, as the House was debating what would later become Obamacare, I half-jokingly announced I was ready to move to Canada.  I'd actually rather move to France or Sweden, but I doubt they'd have me.  Not that Canada would think my unskilled worker's ass is something special, but at least I might be able to get a job as a nanny or something without having to take a crash course in French or Swedish.  And if I could somehow make my way to Vancouver, I might get lucky and encounter an occasional k.d. lang sighting.

It wasn't the idea of an individual mandate that was ticking me off like some people these past few days.  I didn't think what our representatives were arguing for went nearly far enough.  We don't need to force people into buying insurance from for-profit insurance companies.  We need universal healthcare in this country.  

Now that some of my fellow citizens are going full-drama queen like I once did and claiming they're ready to move north, I just laugh.  As this article points out, if they really want to escape the individual mandate, they'll have to move to a different continent:

"Even with the individual mandate, the United States still has one of the most privately-run health care systems in the world, said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations."

"'We were very exceptional,' Huang said of the U.S. 'Among industrialized countries we were the only one that adopted the market-based system.'"

"So where can people disillusioned by 'Obamacare' turn to find a country whose health care system has less government involvement than the United States?"

"'I can't name one,' said Robin Osborn, vice president and director of The Commonwealth Fund's International Program in Health Policy. 'It'd be more likely a third world country.'"

"Haung suggested 'maybe sub-Saharan Africa.'"

I have a better idea.  Why don't we whiny butt Americans just stay put and try to make our own country better?

If my obvious liberal bias won't convince you to unpack your bags, take a look at this conservative opinion on why the individual mandate is a good idea:  "The Core Conservatism of Obamacare".

"This law is all about forcing freeloaders to take responsibility for their actions."  -- Rich Perlstein and Kathleen Duffy of New York Daily News

So whether or not you're a fan of Obamacare, you have to admit it's complicated.  It's easy to see both a liberal and conservative argument for and against it.  I think such complexity means it's better than what we had before, but there's still room for improvement.  My advice?  Pass these suggested amendments from Sen. Bernie Sanders.

I'm not a huge fan of Obamacare in general or the individual mandate in particular, so when I heard that conservative Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberals on the Supreme Court, I did not hear "O Canada" inside my head.  Instead, I heard this song:

available for download here