Here’s a really weird idea: Why not be responsible for your own health-care decisions? A recent Gallup poll indicates that many Americans may actually be embracing this bizarre notion:
More Americans now say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government’s responsibility.
This is quite a shift. Gallup continues:
The high point for the “government responsibility” viewpoint occurred in 2006, when 69% of Americans agreed. In 2008, this percentage fell to 54%, its previous low reading. This year, in the midst of robust debate on a potentially imminent healthcare reform law, the percentage of Americans agreeing that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure everyone has health insurance has fallen even further, by seven points, to 47%. Half of Americans now say this is not the government’s responsibility.
An interesting tidbit: Republicans and Democrats are mirror images of each other—74 percent of Republicans answered that it is not the government’s responsibility to provide health-care insurance, while 74 percent of Democrats said that it is. But it is the overall movement away from the “government responsibility” viewpoint that is most interesting here.
Why the shift? I think it is because of the terrible plans put forward by the Democrats—the public is beginning to see that universal health-care will cripple the nation, families, and end up with fewer citizens being able to take advantage of the best health-care system in the world. For the record, I do believe there is a limited role for government in ensuring that citizens who are truly unable to get good care. But this should be limited and modest and always done with an eye to helping people without making them permanently dependent on Big Brother.