The debate continues over the socialization of healthcare and the rest of the country, and I am no exception. I recently had a small debate with a friend of mine who disagrees with my position on healthcare reform. It was a good debate and I would like to share it with you all at the time. It all started with a link to an article concerning the five freedoms we will lose under the current healthcare reform bill that I posted on Facebook. Soon after the post the comments began rolling in and I responded to them as quickly as I could. Here is the link that started it all. Here are the comments:
R.B. : “Most Americans don’t have Freedoms 1-4, anyway. So, you’re giving up the choice of doctor.”
J.G. : “To piggy-back off Robert, most plans give you a list of doctors to “choose” from so most people don’t really have freedom #5, either.”
Me : “No actually you’re giving up the RIGHT to have 1-4 and even 5, because if your plan doesn’t give you 5, you have the RIGHT to switch plans. I would rather have the right and maybe not the actual thing than lose the right and have the thing. When we start giving up our rights, we have to wonder where it will end. Think income tax, Patriot Act, etc. The right to freely choose not necessarily the right to anything, is what I mean.”
M.J. : “Oh my! I just can’t get all into the politics b/c I feel that it’s all out of my control anyway. To top that, it’s freakin depressing and ridiculous! Y’all just promise me that if I REALLY need to know, y’all will have my back. I know I should keep up a lil more than I do, but I get so frustrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
J.K.G. : “If everyone feels that they don’t have a choice and chose not to do anything and/or speak up ~ that choice will effect all of us in such a negative way. Please read and study up on what is happening in this country. Please be aware!”
B.P. : “Funny this article was on the “fortune” site, I wonder who it’s catered to?”
Me : “Very true Billie. I don’t disagree, but anyone is free to read for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
I don’t disagree that the current system is definitely broken and definitely needs to be adjusted. But I feel strongly that the answer is definitely not a government takeover. The more power we give them the more freedoms they take from us.”
B.P. : “I just don’t understand why socialized medicine is such a bad thing. Veterans go to the VA for it, why shouldn’t all Americans have the same rights to be healthy and stay healthy. The system only caters to the rich as it stands. Even people who have plans through their employer (such as myself) still have to meet a two-thousand dollar or more deductible to get coverage EACH YEAR! If medicine wasn’t “big business” doctors could go back to healing people for their well-being and not twisting it so that they are made to repeat visits and tests that aren’t necessary. Doctors in other countries with government plans do just as well, but are rewarded based on how many people they help, not on how many drugs and tests they sell. Maybe then we could become a system of preventative care as opposed to a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. That way of thinking is archaic and medieval.“
C. M. : “Under Obamacare we would not see much of a change since we are young but what happens when they tell one of your grandparents, parents older siblings that they have had a good life and they should go home and wait to die because the cost to heal them is not worth the five or how ever many years they would live!”
B.P. : “I love how GOP supporters are grabbing for conspiracy theory “straws” these days because fear of complete socialism. Fear is the mindkiller and it’s all republicans have anymore. Socialized medicine isn’t the problem, greed is.”
Me : “First of all I am not a GOPer or a republican. I consider myself a constitutionalist. I am not a supporter of George Bush and I don’t think for one second the McCain or Palin would be doing any better than Obama. 99% of the political culture is profit driven. Everyone gets a kick back in some form or fashion. So in order to truly fix healthcare we must start with the politicians and the lobbying system on K Street. Fear is a mindkiller and that is exactly how Bush lead the country with the constant fear of terrorism and how I think Obama is already leading his administration. The constant fear of being left behind or that all rich people are out to get the lesser achievers, etc. I agree that most republicans are holding on to fear and using the socialist label as a talking point; however, call it what you want but what Obama has already done and is proposing to continue to do meets the definition of socialism to a ‘t.’ Greed is the problem but big government is definitely not the answer. Throughout history revolutionaries have overthrown the large big bad government only to become the large big bad government themselves. Think Cuba, Honduras, Iran, etc. Just think about the current state of our own political landscape and the fact that politicians are already living fat cat lives being “public servants.” Imagine if they gain even more power. I don’t give a damn what party they are, the government, especially ours bound by our constitution should be limited and small and not intrusive and overbearing. Most of the men in my family past and present are veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. All of them receive VA benefits and all of them complain about the lack of quality care, efficient care, and quality of facilities and doctors. The majority of veterans across the country, I am sure, would say the same thing…the government doesn’t do enough to take care of them. So if the government cant even take care of the people who risk life and limb for the country how in the hell are they going to EFFECTIVELY and EFFICIENTLY take care of 300+ million Americans. Is a three month waiting list for a flu shot good for Americans? I 100% and whole heartedly agree that the system is definitely broken, but I also 100% agree that the answer is not bigger government. Everything they run is inefficient, bankrupt, or failing due to corruption, inept leadership, or lack of a clear plan. I don’t understand how more of that is good for me and you. I think everyone should have some responsibility for their healthcare. That is the only way people will understand the true costs of healthcare. I have insurance through my job but I am required to pay for a percentage of some stuff and that forces me to shop around for the best price. If everyone did this, providers would be forced to compete based on price to gain business which would lower costs in the long run. Also under the current proposed Senate bill, doctors would actually be paid when they opt out of performing some procedures much like the dreaded HMOs used to do. So whats not to say that doctors wouldn’t just keep refusing procedures to pad their own pockets since the government will be paying them? No matter which way we go, there will be greed and corruption, but I would rather have the freedom to shop around and choose the plan with the options that I want instead of losing my right to choose and being forced to have a plan including stuff I don’t need and shouldn’t pay for. Freedom is always better. If doctors are compensated by how many people they help don’t you think we might fall into the quantity vs. quality problem? Where doctors would not take the time to give quality care because that would mean less patients which means less pay?”
B.P. : “What more do you think will become socialized? We already have socialized programs such as our postal service, schools, fire departments etc. Do you think that we will be told what to eat, how to exercise and where to live next? I applaud you for shaking the tyranny that is major party baloney, but let me remind you that the constitution was written by a bunch of lawyers and isn’t the shining beacon of truth that everyone makes it out to be either.”
C.M. : “I would just like to keep my freedom!!!!in every aspect!!! I don’t need the government to make decisions for me!!I’m a big boy!! WOW I need a beer!”
Me : “We do have a socialized postal service, and what is the customer service like at any post office you go to? If the postal service, being socialized, is so great why do private companies like UPS and FedEx number one even exist and number two do so well? The Department of Education since its inception has continued to lower the academic levels in this country. Our education system, since being socialized, has continuously gone down hill. That is why private schools consistently outperform most public schools. The teachers there are paid based on performance and merit, not a standardized wage, which is incentive to be the best which results in better students and better academic performance. The constitution might not be a perfect government document but it is what it is and it has made this country the great country that it is.”
B.P. : “ Yeah, I agree about education, but I think Obama is taking the same stance with health care as he is with our current education system. He is going to reward teachers for results, making to sure for checks and balances that don’t take advantage of areas where they children don’t fare as well…or care as much…as you and I have DEF been exposed too. The decision to make medicine a big business was a poor one and people who can afford it survive and the people who can’t have to choose which finger is the most valuable to sew back on…because they both come at a price.
Me : “So forcing businesses to pay yet another tax on top of the almost 50+% corporate tax which has already forced companies to move overseas is going to spur the economy? Absolutely not. It is going to force companies to shut their doors and layoff even more Americans. By your very statement alone proves that Obama is already in a kickback system or some level of a quid pro quo system. Obama’s campaign raised around 800 million dollars. That money wasn’t comprised of just his own money and $2,000 donations from Americans. Trial lawyers, companies and other special interests made up the bulk of that money. It would be naive to think that a law firm, like the one I used to work for, would donate millions in the form of fundraisers and campaign events to Obama just because he is a nice guy. Of course not, that 800 million was “donated” with a “what are you going to do for me now?” attitude. That is corruption already. EVERY politician does it. Michael Moore likes to edit films to prove a point. He made Sicko, which I saw, to talk about how great the socialized systems of Canada and Cuba are, but whenever he has to undergo procedures or see a doctor because of his obesity and other medical issues, he goes to a private doctor in Florida. If the healthcare system was so great in Canada or Cuba, why wouldn’t he move there and undergo care there? Nobody is stopping him from renouncing the citizenship of the country that he constantly ridicules and moving to another one with better anything. But no he likes to stay here for the healthcare and the advantages of the very capitalist system that has made him rich while he lambastes it. Bottom line is there will be corruption no matter if we have privatized or socialized medicine. The difference is with privatized I have corruption with the freedom to choose another plan. With socialized and mandated government plans I have corruption with the lack of freedom to do anything about it. I will choose freedom to choose any day. We just have to agree to disagree. But I have enjoyed the friendly debate. I just wish most other people at least cared enough to get involved. Plus debates always force you to stay involved and stay informed in some way or another. Plus every once in a while you learn something that might change your mind, like I did about Bush and 9/11 and many other things I have changed my mind about. I always at least the other side of the story because I definitely don’t have all the answers and there are very many people out there that are smarter than me. Seriously though, I would still love to hang out and catch up some day.”
B.P. : “Awww, I know, we are writing notes again…just online. I suppose we could go on and on.”
I know that was long, but congratulations to those who endured to the end. Please comment if you have an opinion. I love the discussions.
current music: Elliot Smith: Junk Bond Trader
PS This video simply and inadvertently, on behalf of Obama, proves my point:
He just admitted that the government is failing at running the socialized Postal Service. Why should we believe they can run healthcare for every American?