Originally Posted by schweeb
Regarding public schools, they're kinda in a different class than public health care, and I think you're wrong, most people would support funding for them. Schools are an essential part of infrastructure in society, along with police, fire, and other city services. If cheap, widely available public education does not exist, there's an even higher chance that people in high-dropout areas (Detroit for example) are even less likely to go, as their parents may not want to pay their taxes for public education (which in your suggested scenario - if you don't have kids, you're not paying either).
In reality, the burden of paying for a child's education shouldn't necessarily be on the parents, but on society as a whole. In effect, you're making an investment in children's education, expecting that they will give society a return once they become a functioning, working member of society. When you're paying taxes on education, you're really paying off your own debt to society for educating you.
Education is pretty essential to maintaining a cohesive, functional society, especially here, where we're moving away from brute force/manufacturing type jobs and becoming more focused on being highly specialized in certain fields.
And now tying education to health care - educate your young properly, they can grow up, get a job, and get their own!
Back on health care, I don't believe any of us are advocating that people be left for dead at all. But we don't want to be forced into universal health care either, I'm perfectly happy paying for my private health plan ($430/mo out of my own pocket, and that's just for me - I'm single with no children). My health plan provides me great coverage that I'm completely happy with.
Personally, I believe that people who are physically or mentally unable to work or care for themselves should have access to free health care. People that do work to care for themselves, but don't make enough to provide for health care should have access to some form of cheap health care, prorated against their ability to provide for themselves.
The rest of the people that are perennially unemployed, but are physically and mentally unable to work for themselves should be enrolled into programs similar to the WPA (Works Progress Administration) of the 30/40's. Tired of road projects taking so long? Shouldn't be an issue when you've got a large workforce of the unemployed available to perform this type of labor 24x7 until it's finished, rather than the halfass attempt all of these government contracted road work teams make to complete projects in a reasonable time. Crucial infrastructure is being repaired or built, and previously unemployed workers are employed, and getting the benefits they need.