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Health Care Reform


By NotforObamaHere - Posted on 08 April 2010

When I was reviewing what some had said about their political ideology, many people here mentioned that they wanted lower spending and fiscal sanity to come back to the GOP.

How the heck is it then that you are able to support Obamacare? Its a serious question and I'm just honestly wondering.

Health care is a right -- not a priviledge.

 

No, it isn't.

It is a privilege and should be held to the same standard of essential public service such as police protection, fire protection, and education.

It is something that a prosperous society can help provide for all of its citizens.

It is not, however, a "right" in any way shape or form. 

It is my belief that living in a country as rich as ours that no one should be denied health care simply because they cannot pay.

If it means that I pay an extra bit in tax to make sure that you and your family will not suffer due to lack of health care, I'm very much fine with that.

It is, in my opinion, a very basic human right.

It is a privilege and should be held to the same standard of essential public service such as police protection, fire protection, and education.

I thought getting help from the police, having the fire department come when called and education was a right. Am I wrong on that? If we have parents who refuse to send kids to school or they have too many days out, outside authorities are called and it's called neglect. So if we don't take care of all citizens in terms of basic health care, I think we are guilty of neglect. It is certainly a right, not a privildge IMO.

 Perhaps Tin and others who support HC, but don't view it as a right see it as a responsibility.  I don't see schooling or fire departments so much as a right of the individual but a responsibility of both the government (regardless of level) and the individual.  I think healthcare falls into that category.

As MaryMoo points out there is a lot that many of us can do to increase our own health.  ie: my husband was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  He immediately started walking 2 miles a day and controled his diet with the result that his blood sugar dropped well into normal range.

However not all ills are so ameniable to our control, as you pointed out, and that is where people need to have help.

Yes, what sixteentons said.

Kelly wrote:

I thought getting help from the police, having the fire department come when called and education was a right. Am I wrong on that? If we have parents who refuse to send kids to school or they have too many days out, outside authorities are called and it's called neglect. So if we don't take care of all citizens in terms of basic health care, I think we are guilty of neglect. It is certainly a right, not a privildge IMO.

 This is where people get confused. These things are not "rights" either. They are essential services provided by government, and they are a responsibility of the people forming a community to provide them. Like sixteentons said.

Now, if government provides these services the part that is a "right" is that you cannot be denied those services for arbitrary reasons. According to our Constitutions -- State and Federal -- and our political traditions, people are to be treated equally under the law.

The problem is that health care and health insurance are not currently provided by the government, at least not like these other services  are provided.

The questions at hand are what responsibilities do individuals have and what responsibilities do governments have  in providing these services? What is the minimum acceptable level of health care and health insurance we demand (and are willing to pay for) in a prosperous society? How do we deal with people who are unable to provide for themselves? Do we just say "oh well" and let them die? Under what circumstances should we not pay for health care or health insurance for someone?

It is the same questions we ask ourselves with regards to education, fire protection, and police protection. These are not all universal either although we make a good faith effort to make them so.

I guess I see your points that these are responsibilities. But I was thinking of it this way:

I call the police to help me. I live in a bad neighborhood but I still have a right to that cop coming to help.

I register for school but I am in a wheelchair and the school thinks it will cost too much to put in ramps but they can't say "sorry, you will cost too much"because I have a right to a free public education.

Even when students are violent or interfere with behavior of other students, the district must provide an alternative setting or even home instruction. 

Fair? Maybe not, but all people should have fair access to such government services.

I guess I would ask those of you who have insurance: would you "give it back" for any reason other than cost? Would you really say "You know what, my family and I don't need this." So if my only reason for not getting health insurance is that I can't afford it (or have been rejected because of a pre-existing condition like cancer beyond my control) I-as a poor or sick person- am denied the right that richer and healthier people have. It's certainly not morally right and I think it goes against what the United States is (or should be) all about.

Kelly, you just repeated what I said.

 I call the police to help me. I live in a bad neighborhood but I still have a right to that cop coming to help.

I register for school but I am in a wheelchair and the school thinks it will cost too much to put in ramps but they can't say "sorry, you will cost too much"because I have a right to a free public education.

 Although I'd argue with the first paragraph because that's been proven to be untrue both in practice and by the courts, you are basically correct.

But both police and education are responsibilities of government. Why? Because we've made them so. The "right" identified is the right not to be denied a government service which is provided to other citizens.

The same is not yet true of health care or health insurance.

And actually, I would give my health insurance back to my employer if they could guarantee that my wages made up the difference. The problem is that it would be a net loss for me anyway. 

See I disagree with that. Rights are unalienable. Services and goods aren't rights. You can take them away. You can't take the ability to talk away in the same fashion that you take away a car or an education. Its not that I hate poor people, I just believe in the philosophy that a free lunch for America is worse for the majority of Americans rather than what is good for the minority.

Secondly, frankly I see the liberal approach to handouts in general as selfish -- to poor people. Its selfish because you are just keeping them poor by giving them a fraction of what they could get if you actually helped them. Being lazy and just sending checks to someone or just giving them a service doesn't solve the problem, it avoids it. I think that there needs to be true welfare reform in this country, something similar to Zell Miller's Georgia model.

In general, the problem is that we've changed from a Republic, in which we the government is limited in its powers by the law, which in this case is the Constitution, to a Democracy, in which the majority always rules and is not limited by any laws.

All great societies throughout history have failed when they learned that they could give themselves free services from the government. It happened in the Soviet Union. Socialism, which isn't this crazy ideology, has never worked as well as Capitalism.

That is not to say that Capitalism has its flaws as well. Its not perfect, but its the best system out there.

You have some very well defined opinions for a 16 year old or most adults for that matter.

you probably like this piece by Stossel:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/04/07/what_am_i_105075.html

*******************

If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action. Ludwig von Mises

This article, unbeknownst to the author, clearly addresses the history of the Democratic Party. Being a Jacksonian myself, I find that the old Democrat that used to stand up for the rights of the people seems to be ever more extinct. The other day, I was browsing through the ACU ratings archive and noticed of course that even as little as twenty years ago, it was pretty common to see Republicans considerably farther left to some Democrats with the converse being valid as well. While I knew this was certainly the case during the 1960s in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, this "liberal" breed of Democrats has since become nearly extinct. Mark my words: Zell Miller was the last true conservative Democratic Senator on the entire political spectrum. While there are still some conservative representatives in the House, such as Bobby Bright (before he switched parties), it is clear that these men are only moderately conservative and aren't the true old Dixiecrats that used to dominate the south.
Why would we want there to be any Dixiecrats in the south or elsewhere?  They may have been conservative, but they were also staunchly segregationist.

You are correct, Suzi!

That reminds me of something else, namely the Tea partiers. While their claim of decrying the burgeoning national debt is not totally without merit, their motives are questionable. When the national debt soared from $4.5 trillion to $11 trillion under the George W. Bush administration, these same people were absolutely silent. If out-of-control government spending was their actual rationale, I would have expected to have heard loud cries from these now Tea Partiers about it. However, the silence was deafening.

 

You're right,WC, it was total crickets. I find the political atmosphere today to be reminiscent of the 60's in many ways, and the Tea Party to be quite akin to the segregationists.  Of course, their stated issues are different, but as you said, until now, they were silent on those issues.  I hate to say this (again) but nothing will ever convince me that at the root of all the anger and hate is the fact that we have a black president.
I guess it also goes without saying that it has to with just being democrat in general. It's the Clinton years multiplied by a thousand. When you have a whole faction of the right's most outspoken (and most listened too and unchallenged) who are constantly railing against, dehumanizing, vilifying, demonizing, and demoralizing the words "democrat", "progressive" and "liberal", it triggers emotions for a lot of people. 

You guys are right.  I made this point in another thread about the silence during the Bush adm. not only about the debt but the loss of civil liberties under the so called "patriot act".  I too think that the motivation for this movement is suspect~

 

 

"Peace Cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding."

Albert Einstein

I've never said that I liked Bush. Bush was a progressive. He bailed out the banks just for the interest of the government so that the government would be able to continue getting countries like China to buy our debt and thus provide us with money. George W. Bush spent like he was Paris Hilton. I think you'd be surprised how many people who dislike Obama disliked Bush. Let me remind you that under twenty percent of people approved of Bush's policies. We haven't had a decent president since George H. W. Bush.

In terms of Dixiecrats, I am unaware that that group has a segregationist record, but it is the conservative aspect of them that I refer to.

You're missing the point, if Bush and Obama are so similar, where was this massive outrage when Bush was ACTUALLY president. Like, wcolin said about the Bush years "the silence was deafening". The right was incredibly lockstep with Bush especially it's most public figures. They likened any opposition to him as treasonous behavior. 

I'd give these tea party folks more credit if they started this before Bush left office. They didn't and because of that a lot of people are skeptical and see a lot of underlying things in this Obama opposition. Which is being led by the loudest and most unchallenged voices of the party who rail against how evil democrats and Obama are on a daily basis while playing to people's emotions. 

 

The main problem I see with healthcare provided on a 100% capitalistic approach is that there severe functional limitations in my choices of healthcare.  

Lets say I need a new toaster.  I can take the time to shop around for said toaster, balancing cost to quality etc. and keeping prices within a reasonable range for most of the public. If the price is too high I can indeed live without the toaster without a remarkable drop in the quality of my life.

Lets say I just broke my leg.  For the best result in healing that broken leg I cannot take the time to shop around.  In most communities, especially outside of large cities there is only one or two places to go.  How are prices going to be controlled under those conditions without intervention? Yes, I could say, no I can't afford to get my leg fixed, but would it really be better for our society if I end up crippled?

Of course that is assuming that I have the option of saying no.  I don't functionally have that option if I have had a stroke  and am unable to speak.

And then there is the issue of children.  Do I have the option of telling a doctor not to treat my child, of not taking them to the hospital if there is a life threatening situation. Yes, and in most instances I would be put on trial and probably imprisoned for child abuse.

These situation make healthcare a poor candidate for the capitalist approach.

Those are good arguments for a public option. I hope this is not a lost idea.
But when analyze the public option, what we realize and what Rep. Schakowsky said in her own words is that a public option will put the private sector out of business and lead to a single payer system in which only the top 2% of earners will be the only ones able to buy out of the system. What else happens when you tax a company at 40% for its services and cap what it can charge to only $20,000 for cadillac plans. While there is some level of reform needed, we must remember that insurance companies make a measly profit of 3%, much less compared to lesser known and dying industries, such as the Railroad Industry. Big Choo Choo makes an average of 18% in profits, six times more than Big Insurance Company. So when we do truly analyze the situation of health care, like anything else, we must understand it with perspective.

Okay so how would you solve the healthcare situation from the point of the capitalistic model?

What we have now, resulting from that model is a situation which leaves most americans in danger of losing all of the benefits of their life's work with one disasterous situation.

How would you tweak that model to better the situation?

Why is it that nations like France (for one) have had a "public option" for years (more than 40) and their private insurers are still in business, and thriving?

A public option does NOT mean private insurers bite the dust.

That is just anorther one of the B.S. arguments   by those against health care reform. It's just as untrue as all of the other ones (it will cost more money than doing nothing, death panels, etc).

 

If you call non for profit "thriving" then you are correct, but the truth is that its a big lie to say that private insurance is the same in France as it is here. In France, there is a health care mandate that requires everyone to either recieve the public option or buy into the "private" insurance. In 2009, 77% of health care costs were covered by the government, so to me that sounds like not too many people were actually part of the "private" insurance options. In terms of the "private" insurance, the companies are compulsury not for profit. Their prices are completely controlled, regulated, and set by the government, so its not really that much of what we consider private health care insurance.

If you honestly want the government get even more in between you and your doctor, then this is the system for you. There is increased bureaucracy and regulation.

It sounds like you need to hear from Alina.

Alina!  Where are you?

How come there has been NO public outcry about the insurance company getting between you and your doctor?  That has been going on for several decades now and there has been no outcry about that and they have a vested interested in denying you access, coverage and treatment...profit! 

 

"Peace Cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding."

Albert Einstein

I would rather have a system like France, Germany, or Japan than what we have now but that's not really an option.

I don't care if 77% of health care is covered by the government or by the private sector, what I do care about is that both our government and individuals spend more per capita on health care than do those other countries.

But that's just the fiscal conservative in me. 

And your post up above about a "public option" leading to the end of private health insurance is a classic slippery slope fallacy. You have to provide more evidence than that. 

I find a public option more palatable than the mandate but in the long run it doesn't matter -- I have good health insurance through my employer and if I lose my job again then I have much less to worry about not being able to get health insurance now.

And that's important to me. 

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