Health care is expensive because now we can do magic. Even in the Middle Ages, magic was expensive. Heck, even in Dungeons and Dragons, magic is expensive. Half the medicines you will take this year did not exist 20 years ago.
One hundred years ago, doctoring largely consisted of setting bones, delivering babies, and giving good advice. Doctors could listen to your heart and tell you if it was healthy enough for you to enter the military or go back to work, but they couldn’t do anything to fix it. They had a better, though not infallible sense of what home remedies were likely to help your stomach or your liver. They could tell you to stop drinking. They often had a good sense of when a daughter should be sent away for a summer in the country – for everyone’s sake. They could tell you you were about to die.
Now, we actually fix things. People live through cancers and heart disease. Kids with CF live beyond the age of 15. Schizophrenics can have the voices in their heads get quieter, or even vanish.
We want some less expensive, and more easily understandable treatment to be available when we are sick. It would indeed be cheaper and very cool if we could avoid disease by denying it, or eating whole grains, or rebalancing our chakras. Ironically, we spend billions of dollars on less expensive treatments that don’t work, because we can’t or won’t afford the expensive ones which do work.
Once a treatment is available, we believe it should be available generally. It seems unfair to us at some deep level that one should live and one should die simply because the former has money and the latter doesn’t. It seems to contradict Life, Liberty, and the Purfuit of Happinefs. Unfortunately, making magic affordable for all is also an excellent way to insure that there will be less magic in the future for all of us, at any price. By removing the economic incentive, we pronounce a death sentence on all those whose disease advances before the cure is invented.
We don’t see those people. They don’t seem real to us. Those who have the need today seem much more real. But the others, waiting for new advances, are just as real. They are in fact us. If you have had a new medicine or new procedure in your life, then the Person Saved by the “heartless” system is, simply, you.