An argument for socialized medicine

It would be both unethical and illegal for me to republish Timothy Noah's piece "Would You Privatize Defense: The case for socialized medicine, part I" here in this blog. I know this. But I'm still tempted.

Please read it, so I don't have to break the law.

I think this piece is important. It's an argument that appeals to reason rather than hyperbole. It also appeals to those who are more likely to be critical of socialized medicine, conservatives of the libertarian strain, because those same people thoroughly believe that national defense is a government obligation (in the most extreme cases, government's only obligation).

Here's why I think this piece really stands out: I can't fault the logic. Just when Noah seems like he's gone off the deep end, taking it all too far, I realize he's remained entirely consistent in his metaphor. Our national health system really is that ridiculous. Then, when it seems that this would be an opportunity for an easy partisan twist noting that Democrats are closer to recognizing this reality than Repblicans, Noah refrains. He stays true to the logic that has made the article both frightening and persuasive: It doesn't matter whose solution is slightly closer to nationalized health care, because anything less than full national health care means the candidate or party still hasn't recongized the underlying truth that protecting lives is a job for governments, not markets. Or worse, it means they know this to be true, but don't have the courage to take on the powerful forces that benefit from the lie of superior free market health care.

Maybe I'm buying the metaphor to eagerly. Maybe I'm missing something. Please, can someone explain how this logic doesn't follow? Show me how these are apples and oranges, and private health care is better than public, as opposed to private defense. Or show me that he's wrong on both fronts: that a war fought by more and more private contractors (like our current wars) are more likely to succeed than wars past, with a government led military. Good luck with that one. But seriously, show me how he's wrong.

Or, if he's not, let's work to spread this idea so that candidates with less courage (or more pragmatism, which might be the same thing) will follow in Dennis Kucinich's footsteps because it will become politically expedient.

Can we move on this quickly, please, because in less than three years I have to sit down and negotiate another contract where medical benefits are going to be the biggest issue because of our stupid system. So, someone show me how our stupid system really is the way to go, and I should be glad to be debating with management about who should eats its exponential cost increases. Or, failing that, let's do something to fix this health care cluster-f--- now.