One of the newest right-wing talking points in the debate over health care reform is invoking the fear that health care will end up being “rationed.”

Of course, that doesn’t make sense–if the Democratic plan is implemented, people with private insurance will be allowed to keep their current coverage.  On the other hand, those without coverage will be able to opt into a public health care option, so I don’t see how providing health care to people without insurance would somehow constitute rationing, but…

More to the point, isn’t health care in America already rationed? I mean, whether or not you even have health insurance depends on where you work/how much money you have; same goes for the quality of coverage you can get.

And insurance companies–being private entities–can deny people coverage for a variety of reasons, such as a preexisting condition;  even if you have the means to procure health insurance, you can’t always get it.

And even if you do have health insurance, your insurer can deny your claim for a particular procedure if they so choose. Plus, most health insurance plans involve a copay–you pay for part of your medical care while your insurer pays for the rest.  Same typically goes for prescription drugs–most insurance plans will only pay for a certain amount of medication per year, forcing you to pay for the rest if you go over that limit.

Health care isn’t unlimited in America; a variety of different factors determine how much care–if any at all–you can get.  In fact, profit motive drives insurance companies to ration care; the less health care they give to the fewest amount of people, the more money they make. Face it, in the United States insurance companies get rich by rationing out health care as strictly as they can.

That’s why we need some kind of public option–because private insurance companies can’t afford to cover everyone and provide them the health care they need.  But I wouldn’t expect intellectually-honest, worthwhile arguments against health care reform from the Party of No, who were telling us just a few years ago that there was no crisis and that America had the best health care system in the world.