Cheaper is better ... health care - Johnny Jackson

Cheaper is better? Maybe. In the swirling debate over sky-high health care costs and the under-insured - and in my personal and second-hand experiences being served by the health care industry - I am beginning to formulate some concrete ideals about what good health care should and could be.

Universal health care may not be one of them.

Universal health care is, in principle, the most logical idea I have seen since the Preamble of the United States Constitution.

The idea, however, is unlike the Preamble in that it seems impractical and seems to miss its the mark.

If the purpose of any nation-state's health care ideal is to provide a basic or minimum level of health care, then the goal should be to make health care accessible, not to demand that everyone have it with whatever marginal provisions the 'nation-state' will provide.

To give the average citizen credit and the benefit of doubt, I am half-certain most people realize when they need health care or medical attention. So, that is not the problem. And even having insurance is not completely the issue - not as much as I think it has been expressed.

Maintaining one's health insurance is like maintaining any other bill in one's home. But no one is climbing the walls about people having too little food or no heat in America. Generally, people pay for what they can afford and when they can afford it.

Health care, I think, is no different.

There is no wonder so many people are somewhat excited when they learn they could receive a windfall of riches in their income tax refunds. They will get it and use it how they see fit. Some will go on that tropical vacation they have been hoping for, and others will be able to buy those braces for little Susie and Gretchin.

Most likely, they have only held off on these noble pursuits because of their finances (and fear that there will be a more pressing emergency that could tap out their wallets in the near future).

I have personally not invested into something before because it was a few dollars too much in my eyes. I have gone that extra mile, or five, to the next gas station to get the same grade of gas five cents cheaper per gallon, realizing I spent a few cents in gas getting there (just as people get sicker from the lack of health care).

But it is our mindset, sometimes, and it is a mindset that I believe is often a legitimate rationalization.

I think that rationalization should apply to health care, and in considering what sort of plan to incorporate into health care to make it more accessible.

Make it that place I am willing to drive five additional miles to. Make me less afraid of paying for it with money I do not have to waste. Make it cheaper, not universal. And maybe, hopefully, I will decide to make an investment into the health care industry.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.