July 28, 2009

No, you don’t deserve it

By: Sonny Bunch

Ezra Klein, Washington Post econo/health-blogger and omniscient child pundit, writes the following:

[Bill Kristol] says that the Army health-care system — which is fully socialized — is the best health-care system we’ve got, and the reason we can’t give it to all Americans is that it’s too expensive. Socialized medicine, in other words, works. The rest of us just don’t deserve it.

To be fair, I don’t believe that Kristol believes that.

I don’t know why Ezra would think that Bill’s lying when he says the health care provided by the military is the best in the world. It is! But you know what? Ezra Klein does not deserve the excellent health care provided to members of the military and their families. Ezra Klein does not put his life on the line to protect this country day in and day out. Ezra Klein did not sacrifice earning potential by enlisting in the military and serving as a grunt for a decade or two. The average shmoe on the street does not deserve the excellent health care provided to members of the military and their families for the same reasons.

The health system provided by the military is one of the few real perks that come with living a military life. Does it compensate for the near-continuous familial disruptions of moving around the world, or the oft-brutal working hours for low pay, or the threat of being deployed to some hellhole where the threat of death looms over you just as sure as the sun shines? Maybe. But the point is that members of the military receive that health care for exceptionally dangerous and difficult services rendered — services which, I might add, make excellent health care all the more necessary.

So yeah: The rest of us don’t deserve the socialized medicine provided by the military.

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