Some folks feel that Brian Williams should've asked Rick Perry about Cameron Todd Willingham—a likely innocent man who was executed in Texas after Perry signed his death warrant—by name last night. I wish that everyone on the stage had been asked about Kyle Willis by name. We're the greatest, richest, most awesomest country in the whole history of the entire world and we can't manage to do what every other Western, industrialized, developed country on earth already does: provide health care for all our citizens. So shit like this happens:

A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn't afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.... Kyle Willis' wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance. When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn't afford both, so he chose the pain medications. The tooth infection spread, causing his brain to swell. He died Tuesday....

Willis' story is not unique. In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver also died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. The Maryland boy underwent two operations and six weeks of hospital care, totaling $250,000. Doctors said a routine $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life. His family was uninsured and had recently lost its Medicaid benefits, keeping Deamonte from having dental surgery.

I think Justin Bieber said it best:

"You guys are evil," he says with a laugh. "Canada's the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home."

Republicans oppose a single-payer system because socialism, of course, but some relatively reasonable people I know oppose a single-payer system because why would they want to pay into a system like Canada's when they've never been sick and will never get sick—because they're immune to all known human ailments and have unbreakable bones—and they have jobs and there's zero chance that they'll ever lose their jobs so they'll go on getting health insurance through their employers forever. What's in a single-payer system for them?

Not much, I'll concede. There's nothing in a single-payer health care system for immortals with titanium bones who can't be fired. For the rest of us—for those of us who are lucky to be healthy but know that we could could get sick or injured, for those of us with children who could get sick or injured, for those of us who have health insurance through our employers but know that we could, like so many other Americans, lose our jobs and our health insurance—here's what in a single-payer system for us even if we never get sick: peace of mind. A single-payer system means not having to worry about going bankrupt, or losing your home, if you or your child should get sick or injured—and, remember kids, it's not just the uninsured who lose everything when they get injured or sick. People with health insurance are bankrupted by medical bills.

And the chief absurdity of our current, employer-based health care system—well, assistant chief to the fact that our system costs more than Canada's and delivers much worse results—is this: if you're too sick to work odds are good that you're going to lose your job and your health insurance at the precise moment that you need your health insurance most. Like this young woman.

I don't think it's hyperbolic to draw a line from the bloodlust on display at last night's GOP debate to the Republican Party's indifference to the suffering and death that our current health care "system" visits on the American people. If anything Alan Grayson was too polite.