Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Health Care: A Prevarication, An Analogy

America's tireless batch of movement conservatives are fond of asserting the USA currently enjoys "the best health care system the world has ever known" and words to that effect. In a way, this is outright false.

But with just the right amount of squinting, it's easy to see that it is a prevarication rather than a lie.

To say that the USA has the best health care system is exactly as true, and in the same way, as the analagous assertion that the USA has the best transportation system in the world if by the latter you mean Lexus cars are widely available in the USA.

They are, of course. No one in the United States is very far away from a Lexus dealer -- many of us are fortunate enough to live or work within walking distance.

It is absolutely true to say that any American not currently satisfied with his transportation options is within his rights to purchase a Lexus, which, by every account I've ever heard, are superbly-crafted, masterfully-engineered vehicles. Likewise, it is absolutely true to say that people with enormous wealth are within reach of world-class health care in the USA. And to them I say: good for you, and I don't even mean it sarcastically.

I realize I'm not the first to make this point, and probably not even the first to make it using the example of Lexus, rather than, say, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, or whatever. We'll all stop making it when movement conservatives stop issuing the corresponding lie prevarication.

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