There were a couple of reasons I wanted to start blogging about the U.S. presidential elections and the Democratic candidates. One of those was health care. The other day i was trying to catch up on the “and then there were two” debate and I came across this clip on health care (on as usual, can you tell I like that site?)

Barack&Hillary Health Care

Later that day I downloaded Sicko (sorry anti-piracy types, I’d have gone to the theaters if it had passed this way) and that just compounded my frustration. To be honest, I think that launched my “What is wrong with my country” mindset that I’ve been stuck in for a couple of days now.

As someone who now lives in a country where anyone can go to a doctor, regardless of financial status, I can only look back on my countrymen in disbelief? How are you (I think this requires a direct form of address) not all out in the streets demanding that universal health care be implemented yesterday!

That said, obviously, Clinton comes out stronger on this issue for me. I am not impressed with her becoming so chummy with Health Insurance industry money (fond sigh for the exit of Edwards here), but I do agree with her that you cannot legitimately be a democratic candidate if you are not calling for universal health care, which Obama isn’t.

And what’s his response to her criticism about anyways? His plan would allow millions to remain uncovered. He says he doesn’t want to take away people’s choices? That’s conservative-speak for “we like to let the market decide” what is it doing in the rhetoric of a Democratic candidate?

And it ignores the fundamental problem of any non.universal system: If you give people the choice, there will always be poor folks who choose not to pay out of short-term financial need, and their willingness to risk that perhaps they just won’t get sick. This type of “we like to give people a choice” logic is what sounds so hollow over here on the other side of the world, where all these silly Europeans decided long ago that they were ok with giving up that choice – the choice between food and a doctor’s visit, the choice between rent and their health.