I saw some good news today.  Apparently some hospitals are going to wave (or at least limit) the medical bills for some of the victims of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado.  I’m grateful that, at least for some of the people injured in the shooting, they will not have to worry about being saddled with huge medical bills one they are released.

When I saw the news, two thoughts went through my mind.  First, I wondered how these hospitals were going to absorb these costs and who would ultimately pay for the medical costs (that are very real).  As I contemplated my own question, I realized that “we” will.  Between tax support and increased costs for others in the hospital (paid directly or through insurance premiums), the costs will be covered and the public will be the ones doing the covering.

That led me to my second thought:  Shouldn’t it be that way for everyone?  Shouldn’t all of us be able to go to the hospital for any medical need and not worry about the costs.  Shouldn’t the public just take care of these costs — costs for any treatments that are medically necessary?  Why not just have one medical insurance system that we all pay in to according to our ability to pay into it (a percentage of our income) and all use when we need it?

Of course, what I’m talking about is a single payer medical insurance program, the easiest version of which would be expanding Medicare to everyone.  Yes, it would mean a tax increase, but it would also mean a decrease in medical insurance premiums.  I don’t know how it would pencil out.  I get paid will enough that I might end up paying more in the medicare tax than my current medical premiums.  And if that’s the case, I’m okay with it, because it would mean that all of my neighbors and I myself would be able to go to the hospital without worrying about the medical bills when I get discharged.

No medical bills for some?  That’s nice.  How about no medical bills for all?

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