Do you understand the concept of morality?

Thank you for your service, sir, but that the VA is a government medical service provider, is it not? By your own logic, I’m being immorally forced to pay for your healthcare as well. If you were really committed to this philosophy, wouldn’t you refuse the VA and pay your own way? And wouldn’t you argue that the VA should be done away with altogether? You can’t say that the VA fulfills some other Constitutional purpose, like providing for the common defense — at least, it would not be serving that purpose for any services provided to non-active military. So why am I being forced to take care of you when I don’t know you and, your military past aside, have no reason to want to maintain your well-being?

I’m not actually advocating for the elimination of the VA, of course. My point is that the VA is socialism; we’ve all agreed to pay in some money to take care of veterans because we by and large have agreed that we want our society to take care of those who serve in our military. Ditto Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, HUD, food stamps, and innumerable other programs we’ve created to take care of various subsets of our citizens. We’ve been an at least partly socialist country since at least before the second World War, and that’s arguably also been the height of our strength as a nation.

So you’re incorrect in that socialism has failed; it has worked in this country for nearly a century, perhaps even in keeping you alive. It’s even worked in greater doses elsewhere: Western and Northern Europe are generally doing well despite being far more laden with the “burden” of socialism than we are. In the end, the question isn’t a black-and-white socialism/no socialism one, but a grayscale “how much socialism do we want” one. And if you’re saying “The program that takes other people’s hard-earned money to ensure myself and people like me are taken care of is OK, but creating a similar program for a larger group that doesn’t benefit me isn’t,” then it seems the problem isn’t in the program itself, but rather in who it benefits (i.e., not you, and perhaps even people you generally deem unworthy of such help).

I also find fault with the idea that “people can get healthcare if it’s important enough to them.” Say you do a good job of saving for a rainy day, and have $50,000 at your disposal for unexpected medical expenses. But then you come down with a rare form of cancer, one that debilitates you to the point of being unable to work and will eventually kill you, and due to its rarity has a treatment method that costs $125,000. How do you make up that $75,000 when you can’t work? Or in your mind has this person messed up earlier in the process (e.g., not saving enough beforehand), and in so doing demonstrated that continuing to exist clearly isn’t important enough to them? You can add the complicating factor of health insurance, but the same hypothetical would exist; we’d just be talking about coverage or plan type instead of savings.

Finally, re: capitalism as the only moral system. You opened by saying that it would be immoral to force someone to pay for someone else to live. Are you placing any restriction on that? Even forcing someone else to give a penny? Because even taking as given that compulsion as immoral, this seems to be putting a black-and-white argument on a gray situation. Because you know what else is generally seen as immoral? Letting someone die when you can prevent it from happening at minimal cost and risk to yourself. And when given a choice between two immoral acts, we have to weigh the options, and every person will have their limit as to how far they’re willing to reach into their own or someone else’s pocket to save a life. But if you’re saying that the *only* moral system is the one that says the life of another human being isn’t worth even a penny if that penny has to be taken unwillingly, then you and I have very different definitions of what it means to be “moral.”

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