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Old 01-04-10, 03:32 PM
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WhiteChocolateJr WhiteChocolateJr is offline
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Sure, I have tons of objections to the current state of health care reform. Most of what you said is the bipartisan product of our government-for-sale form of lobbyism that we have in place. While you are asking why I'm not pointing my finger at the Chief Executive of this country, I could in turn, ask why you have not read Art. II of the constitution? It's not the President's ROLE to make the laws. Period. Bush may have worn a hybrid hat and dallied where the document disallowed, but President Obama was a Constitutional Law professor. I think he understands the separation of the branches more clearly than any of us do.

All that said, we CANNOT continue to be the only Western democracy that does not provide health care to its citizens.

The public option--before it was scuttled and gutted--was proposed as a way of avoiding the very situation that you describe, in which a private firm is giving government instruction on how to handle its business operations. We can both agree that ham-handed government interference is a huge disaster. It historically has been a fiasco for the same reason repeated throughout our nation's history: A good idea sours because the gubmint doesn't know when to back off. That the government is not the best steward of its citizen's health care hardly a point of contention. Where I differ is that I'm not a fan of obstructionism masquerading as ideas. The right (and Lieberman) seem to believe that blocking any and all potential solutions will benefit the republicans in 2012. Great....but what about US citizens between now and the next election? It's not all politics for us real folks.

What we have now not only doesn't work: It is proximately causing the needless death of American men, women and children. We need to fix the broken system, and soon. We need to put politics aside and come to the table willing to look at the problem in a realistic and pragmatic manner.

I think I agree with the main thrust of your assertion, that private firms ought to be able to run their business according to their own wishes, with the following caveat: Let the government COMPETE with the private firms. That's what the "public option" was intended to provide. A public option--or public buy-in, government option, whatever you call it would allow the government to act as an additional force in the marketplace that would serve as a countervailing force to the profit-at-all-cost MO of the current players. That's where and why I'm all in favor of a robust public option. The insurance companies have repeatedly and unflinchingly shown that they will not and cannot "police" themselves--so having an alternative means of acquiring healthcare is hardly even an arguably "bad" thing, let alone the end of 'merica that some protesters make it out to be.

I don't follow how requiring a person to take care of themselves by acquiring some form of access to healthcare, whether it is through private or public insurance, etc. is even remotely akin to forcing a person to purchase a life insurance policy. In fact, I think that's a faulty assumption through and through. Health care can be argued as an essential service, part and parcel of the constitutional "promot[ion] of the General Welfare" called for in the preamble (and then charged as the bailiwick of Congress in Art. I). Life insurance is a way of hedging your bets against the unexpected, and is more similar to auto insurance than health insurance. In fact, the government requires you to purchase auto insurance because you're driving on the roads, exposing others to risk by your operation of a vehicle. So it is in some industries that, because of the nature of the work, the purchase of life insurance by the employer for the benefit of its employees is mandated.

Beyond that, it would seem that each citizen being responsible under the law for procuring and maintaining health insurance of some form is nothing short of personal accountability...and isn't personal accountability the alleged cornerstone of the modern conservative movement*? Sure, there would be punitive attachment to going without. But as it is, those without insurance and with the means and ability to purchase it are a HUGE drain on the taxpayer resources. The changes proposed in this (awful, bloated, earmarked, and vile) legislation DO address that very issue. In fact, the cost to the taxpayer is actually projected to be LESS under the Senate plan (which is awful) than if we do nothing. Why is that? Because ignoring the issue or pretending like emergency room care IS a form of a public option ignores the nature of that cost spreading given the high cost of trauma care and emergency services versus the allocation of tax dollars to provide for non-emergency medical and health care services (e.g., prophylactic checkups). While I think that there are issues with such a mandate--just look at what happened to Romney's attempt in MA--I like the conversation, because that seems like the area in which a truly non-partisan and constituent-focused solution would arise from.

*- It's either that, or keepin' them gays from enjoying the foundation of America's traditions, Divorce.
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