Hello, I'd really appreciate it if someone could do a nice scrutinizing on my opinion piece. I'm not worried about the citations (hence the exclusion). Other than that, rip on it. Thank you very much!

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine

What does it mean to live by principles and values? Are these ideas substantive, or do they lack argument? This is the underlying question, in my opinion, when I confront the idea of a “small government” or more specifically, the emotional loathing for “socialized healthcare.” When I ask the cynics why they oppose a single-payer system, their rebuttals circle around principle, rather than policy. For example, many people tell me they don’t want to be like Europeans and live under big governments. Others ramble about bureaucrats and wasting money while increasing taxes. Above all else, they are against “socialism.” Yet, they present no facts, no statistical data – only rhetoric. Rhetoric on principles and beliefs.

At what point do principles lose their value? What will it take for people to realize that principles are nothing more than glorified opinions? That is to say, principles are ideas, that after so long, have become canonical and in a twisted way divine because people refrain from applying rigorous scrutiny to them.

They can pride themselves on their beliefs all they want, but that won’t prevent 18,000 American deaths each year - deaths that can easily be prevented if we adopt a system that is affordable to everyone.

We must put down our partisan arrogance and realize that our health, or more accurately, our lives are too important to put a dollar sign in front of. Profits should never be the bottom line when our families and friends’ lives are the issue at hand.

They believe that socialized healthcare translates into a bloated budget and even more wasteful bureaucracy. Where are these facts and numbers they argue upon? After five minutes of research, they would see that in 2008 the United States spent approximately 17 percent of its GDP on health care. Meanwhile, health care spending accounted for 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France – all of which have “socialized healthcare.”

No matter what perspective one takes, the facts are overwhelmingly favoring a not-for-profit universal health care system. If we switch, we will no longer have to ask why the health care industry spends over 500 million dollars a year on lobbying. We will no longer have to ask why the CEO of United Health (William McGuire) is making over 120 million dollars a year. Most importantly, we will no longer have to ask why helpless Americans are dying.

Let’s stop arguing over ambiguous ideologies and look at the core facts. Don’t let this turn into a partisan issue like everything else – it’s too important to trivialize as a left/right issue. If we want affordable healthcare for everyone, we must adopt a single-payer health care system. To do otherwise would be deadly in cost- both money and health.