In the lead up to last November’s historic vote to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in Washington, traveling TV personality and author Rick Steves wasn’t shy about where he stood, drawing on his years of experience visiting other countries to argue in favor of New Approach Washington’s campaign to decriminalize pot use.
And with the Affordable Care Act - or Obamacare - set to go live tomorrow, Steves is once again letting his voice be heard on the matter. In a blog post published today Steves writes that America is about “to get a watered down version of what other nations just assume is the mark of a successful and developed society,” while noting that “Europeans and Canadians — who spend far less per person on health care, like their care, and have options for rich people to get all the private VIP service they like — marvel at how so much of America is hell-bent on maintaining our status quo.”
Make no mistake: Steves supports the Affordable Care Act, saying his reaction to the new health-care law is “as an American who wants to be proud of my country.”
“It is an embarrassment that so many Americans are brutalized by health-care costs,” Steves writes.
While the latest on the implementation of Obamacare has centered on a group of hellbent Tax Partiers in DC, in his biting critique Steves takes a broader aim at “big medicine, insurance companies, and the politicians they employ.”
“It’s amazing to me that in our great nation, about a fifth of the citizens are unable to afford health insurance, need to go to the emergency room for routine medical needs, and are terrorized by the specter of one serious accident or sickness wiping out their family financially. And, just as amazing, half of our country thinks that’s OK and is fighting mad about the possibility of change,” writes Steves. “Even more perplexing, many of the people who think this is the best America can afford are the very people who need help the most.”
Just like he was on the legalization of pot for adults, Steves is dead on when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.
If only he was in Congress on not on PBS.