Voting: Life And Death

by Patrick Appel

Reihan Salam defends the health care protesters:

To get a glimpse of America’s future, consider France. The French have the health-care system that Americans desperately want: it combines private providers and patient choice with a large and generous public insurance system, one that keeps out-of-pocket costs extremely low for working families. The French system is also dramatically cheaper than our own. But whenever there's a move to tweak the system in some waysay, to gently nudge patients to get the approval of a general practitioner before seeing a specialistthe French go absolutely mad with rage. Doctors go on strike, massive street protests ensue, the riot police come out: it's a crazy scene.
And it makes perfect sense: as more life and death decisions are placed in the hands of democratically elected legislators, politics become more than an occasional nuisance. When your wages are stagnant or your health insurance premiums are zooming skyward, you don't blame your boss or bad luck; instead, you blame the knuckleheads running, or rather ruining, the country. You come to feel as though you can't just wait until the next election: You need to make your voice heard noweven if that means taking to the streets or throwing a punch.

This sounds plausible. I wonder how much of voter participation among the elderly is reliant on medicare. If government run health care predicts voter engagment, then more government intervention would also produce a spike in voter turnout, no?