In the real world I am regarded as knowing something about healthcare. I shy away from the word “expert” but I guess I have to accept that title.

I recently received my monthly AARP magazine, and there was a boxed comment that said:

“People are willing to make sacrifices to ensure that everyone has access to health insurance.”


Having had hundreds of face-to-face encounters with patients and families (my ex-girlfriend, the saint, has had thousands) I doubt this.

Many of us don’t mind paying taxes for other people’s healthcare, but I don’t think many Americans would wait a month for an MRI after blowing out a knee.

This does not make Americans evil or selfish IMHO, there are standards of access most of us enjoy (and most health providers strive for) and I don’t think many want to give up that access.

Any single payer system would ultimately restrict access, whether that lowers outcomes is hard to say (I don’t think any country has a good benchmarking system for measuring quality of outcomes).

So, is the AARP correct? Would you sacrifice your family or personal access, or pay more, for someone else’s healthcare? Would most Americans?