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The Health Care Games

It’s not a perfect analogy, but there’s a story in Monday’s New York Times that bears a disturbing similarity to the movie, “The Hunger Games.”

There’s a health care lottery in Tennessee.

On two nights a year, residents who don’t have coverage can call a hotline and try to be one of the 2,500 people who will get an application for a special program within the state’s Medicaid program.

There are income limits. You can meet them by showing that your current medical bills bring you down to the limit. For one person, the income limit is $241 a month. For a family of four, $325 a month.

Got more than that? Sorry. You’re on your own.

Here in Arizona, I hope you read the Sunday Republic profile of a young woman who lost her health care coverage, and might now lose her life.

Both stories highlight an aspect of the health care debate we seem to avoid. This is a moral issue. People’s lives depend on it.

We should have a vigorous, open, well-informed debate on the economics of health care, but the moral issue should be non-negotiable.