Robert J. Samuelson writes:

The notion that the uninsured get little or no care is a myth: They now receive about 50 to 70 percent as much health care as the insured. If they become insured, they would use more health care, possibly as much as today's insured. That would increase both government and private health spending, depending on how the insurance is provided.

Joe Klein is skeptical:

The 50-70% coverage--I love the numbing, economic nincompoopery of that stat--that they get takes place mostly in emergency rooms, the most expensive health care delivery system imaginable. If those same people had regular primary care physicians, they could nip those emergencies in the bud through preventive care, especially the use of drugs. [...] In other words, the 30-50% of coverage that the uninsured are not getting might well lower the costs of the 50-70% of coverage that they are.

Duh. What Samuelson concedes that we already have socialized medicine in America.

Everyone gets treatment in emergencies and the uninsured get treatment the rest of us pay for in higher premiums. So the basic point remains: does this form of socialized medicine make more sense than socialized medicine which brings everyone into the system, and tries to find ways to lower costs? Which socialism do you want? As usual, the Reoublicans want big insolvent government, and the Democrats want big solvent government. Given that that's the actual choice (if not the rhetoric), I'm more inclined to listen to the Dems. Warily, of course. But the Republicans are a joke.

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