On his MSNBC program Hardball today, host Chris Matthews took a minute to take a shot at Rush Limbaugh, who recently proclaimed that the healthcare system is fine. He also tried to explain the issue to him. Matthews described the issue as, “getting for millions of people who don’t have it, something like the healthcare Rush gets.”
After showing a clip of Limbaugh declaring that the healthcare system is fine, Matthews said, “Wow, first of all I’m glad for Rush personally that he is okay, but the issue isn’t whether or not the US has great health quality. Every bad guy in the world comes her to get saved. The issue is cost affordability. That’s what the healthcare bill is about, getting for millions of people who don’t have it something like the healthcare that Rush gets. Get it? Probably not.”
Matthews hit on a common tactic that healthcare reform opponents have been using. They attempt to shift the debate to quality of care instead of access to care. Very few people are debating the quality of the US healthcare system. The problem is that 50 million people have no access to the system.
Opponents of the reform have constructed a straw man argument about quality, because they don’t want to expand access to care. The point is to give more people the ability to have the same kinds of tests that Limbaugh did when he had chest pains. I can guarantee you that if Limbaugh would had no health insurance, he would have gotten the minimum amount of necessary care, and been sent home.
There is a tiered system of access to healthcare in the United States, and that is what must be reformed. People on the left and right have gotten caught up in battling over the mechanism for reform, while completely losing sight of the main goal, which is to provide more people with access to the healthcare system.