Health care for the world’s poor

The Daily Show‘s Aasif Mandvi reports from a place where medical volunteers, some local and some foreign, come to deliver healthcare to the poor:


OK, Mandvi mugs a little too much in a few places and some of the shots he takes are cheap. But the point he’s making is straightforward and valid: Healthcare here in the U.S. doesn’t reach everyone, because there are plenty of people who can’t afford it.

The Fox Business commentator he interviews, Todd Wileman, also makes a valid point when he notes that some people some people choose to spend money on things other than health insurance. That’s why conservatives proposed the individual mandate some of them now complain about in the Affordable Care Act. Everybody should carry health insurance and not depend on the rest of us to expensively bail them out if they get expensively sick, and as a practical matter those who genuinely can’t afford it should get some help paying for it.

But of course Wileman’s forecast of coming horrors from the ACA makes no sense and is based on misinformation. There’s very little additional government regulation of medicine in the ACA, for example. He’s right, though, when he says wait times may increase, but the only way the Affordable Care Act influences that is by allowing more people to get insurance and see a doctor.

(Thanks to my brother Tom for pointing this out.)

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