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Apropos of absolutely nothing newsworthy I think conservatives have a lot more answering to do for their position on health care than commonly implied. Here’s why:

These numbers are as good as any – the United States pays $6719 per person per annum in health care. To take a stark contrast, Great Britain pays less than half that – $2815 per person. That $3904 per person per annum difference, over a population of over $300 million people, adds up to $1.171 trillion. Every year.

So forget even about health care outcomes – Britons live longer than us. Let’s say we’re buying some sort of “freedom” by having our “free market” system as opposed to Britain’s nationalized system. I’m sure the tens of millions of people who have no health insurance don’t think of themselves as particularly free, as well as the vastly more millions who have the option of a single plan offered by their employer – pretend for the sake of argument that this is in some sense true.

Are we a trillion dollars freer? Are we a trillion dollars freer every year? A trillion dollars is the entire cost of a high-speed rail system that would connect every city in the continental United States. A trillion dollars is the sum total of every outstanding student loan in America. A trillion dollars could land humans on Mars with plenty left over. A trillion dollars every year would end any concern about the national debt. It could also write a $70,000 check to every unemployed person in America.

So to those who think our health care system represents some sort of freedom – is it worth it?

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