The debate of health care reform in the United States has been focusing on the wrong questions. Obsessing over whether the Affordable Care Act makes President Obama (and Mitt Romney) socialists is pointless. Deciding whether an individual mandate is a penalty, a tax, or something else entirely is relatively trivial. We should be asking ourselves how to expand coverage, reduce costs, and improve patient care. Fortunately, there is an obvious answer.
We need to reduce the number of uninsured people down to zero. Not only is this a moral imperative (i.e., health care should be a basic right and not a privilege), but our health care costs are higher because of the large number of uninsured people we now have. That is, those of us with health insurance pay much higher costs than necessary to subsidize the uninsured. The U.S. needs to join the rest of the industrialized world by providing universal healthcare.
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