The Health Care Debate as I Understand It

The Left Side: We need health care reform desperately. Too many Americans cannot afford health insurance and even the lucky ones who have it through their jobs are only a layoff away from disaster.

The Right Side: AAAAAAROOOOOOOGAAAAKENYANBIRTHCERTIFICATE SOCIALISTSOCIALIST STEPHENHAWKINGWILLKILLYOURGRANNY ARHHHHHHHHHHHDEATHTOIMMIGRANTS!!**^*#$(*&#TREEOFLIBERTY ZUCHINIZUCHINI GETYOURGOVERNMENTOUTOFMYMEDICAREGLENNBECKGLENNBECK BLACKPRESIDENTWILLEATYOURBABY!!&??@$WHEREMYGUNOHHEREMYGUN.

34 Comments

  1. You got the left side wrong:

    The Left Side: DONTYOUKNOWPEOPLEWILLDIEIFWEDONTDOTHISNOW HEYYOUCRANKSYOUBETTERSHUTUPANDDOASWESAY GLOBALWARMINGISREAL PAYYOURFAIRSHARE ALGOREWON WEDONTNEEDTOMOVEON

  2. You’ve it the nail on the head, Chris. I made the mistake of trying to have the health care debate with my dad a few nights ago. He flipped on Fox News and not suprisingly, someone was trotting out false information. When I pointed out this to my dad, he got red in the face and started talking, nay, yelling loudly about “teh lying liberal media”. He was also making a sandwhich at the time, so in conjunction with the yelling, he was gesturing angrily with a mayo smothered butterknife in hand.
    I tried to point out that the rumors FN spews out are either erroneous, barely true or warped beyond the original intention.
    I showed him that factcheck.org and politifact.com have debunked these claims and they are unbiased, as they have called out the mistakes people on the left had made. He found fault with both sites and maintains that both are tools of the left wing media, especially politifact, which is sponsered by the St. Pete times. According to my dad, the St. Pete Times is one the most left wing papers in the country. The only thing he would concede on is Palin’s nonsense about death panels. However, that being said, he’s still convinced that tax payers will eventually be forced to fund abortions. He then pointed me to a supposed “unbiased” web site, Heritage, which is far from unbiased.
    He does agree that Health Care must change, but Obama’s plans are marching us towards socialism. He says that republicans have offered 3 different options, but you will never hear about them because “Clinton News Network” has swept it up under a rug.
    Here are some other gems from the argument:
    ~~This past presidential election had the worst candidates ever.
    ~~Democrats are running full throttle towards socialism, while moderate republicans are doing the same thing, only at a slower pace.
    ~~~ Obama and his regime are Nazi-like.
    ~~~Pelosi, et al are calling protesters the Nazis, not the other way around.
    ~~~When Bush was in office, he would tune into Colmes’ show and liberals were always making death threats. When I point out that people on the right have done the same to Obama, he is dismissive and does not believe it.
    ~~~Liberals always take things out of context, especially what Limbaugh says.
    ~~Limbaugh has never mocked anyone, made fun of anyone and always plays fair be cause he listens to Rush all the time and never heard one rude remark uttered.
    I made the mistake of saying something to the effect Rush is drug addicted, fat, married three times, windbag. And his reponse was, “Oh, typical liberal response! His personal life doesn’t make a difference!”
    *sigh* It’s impossible for me to have a rational polical discussion with my dad.

  3. The problem the “left” has is that they are focused on the wrong thing. Everyone needs health care, but that is not what they are saying. All they can say is that everyone needs health insurance. Why is the left so interested in using insurance for routine procedures? Do you use grocery insurance to buy food at Safeway? Do you use “power insurance” to pay your electric bill? Of course not. It is a horribly inefficient way to pay for goods and services. We need to drop this idea of “insurance” for every routine medical procedure or we’ll never get a handle on costs.

  4. I just have to share a conversation I had today with my right-wing fundamentalist mailman whose opinion I always solicit to find out what the “other side” is thinking:

    Me: So, what do you think of this health care brouhaha?

    Mailman: I think its crazy. The government has no business getting involved in health care. (He seemed to miss the irony of the fact that as a US gov’t employee and an Army vet, his health care is 100% taxpayer funded).

    Me: Well, you like your health care ok?

    Mailman: Yeah. You know, the reason why so many people don’t have health care is because they don’t want it.

    Me: They don’t want it?

    Mailman: Nope.

    And that was my health care reform conversation for today.

  5. I think you’ve hit it on the head, but sadly, as I’ve pointed out over at j-walkblog.com, our pussy left-wing not-nearly-as-socialist-as-they-should-be politicians caved to the imbiciles.

    I’m screaming mad about this.

  6. @t-rex

    Gee, thanks for informing me about the beauty of the free market. I’m a partner in a small business and make a six figure income from it. I buy low and sell high. I pay payroll taxes. I’m not just full of hot air, I’m a REAL capitalist. Can you say the same for yourself?

    The difference is that if not everybody has the means to afford what I’m selling, they won’t go bankrupt and/or die. I see no “beauty” in risking my life and my future to play games with my heathcare. And I certainly pay no heed to people on the right who have never owned a business in their life calling me a socialist.

  7. You got the left side wrong:

    The Left Side: DONTYOUKNOWPEOPLEWILLDIEIFWEDONTDOTHISNOW HEYYOUCRANKSYOUBETTERSHUTUPANDDOASWESAY GLOBALWARMINGISREAL PAYYOURFAIRSHARE ALGOREWON WEDONTNEEDTOMOVEON

    That’s actually pretty close (thanks for listening to our side), but with spaces, punctuation, and mostly in lowercase.

    I just have to share a conversation I had today with my right-wing fundamentalist mailman whose opinion I always solicit to find out what the “other side” is thinking:

    I wonder if Dilbert has discussed this with his garbageman yet.

  8. John Mackey, who is a business owner but doesn’t make a six-figure salary (in fact he makes a one figure salary so maybe he’s full of it), came out with a list of alternative reforms which is more substantive than your current understanding of the right’s position Chris.

    If you want to really focus on the issues, it’s really easy to do, but me thinks infotainment is more to you liking, which is fine too. Education is hardly a government mandate, just schooling.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html

  9. Idiots, why cant anyone debate intelligently. i.e. making valid points of contention, instead of looking like a bunch of monkey’s throwing our own poo at each other. Its really sad that the vast majority of the people just want to scream and complain about the other side instead of writing down the tangible arguments for their point of view. If I were president, I would stand up and go over every point that someone disagreed with one by one. And if there was a valid argument that I could not refute, I would take my vac-u-jack out from behind the podium and THROW IT AT THEM!!

  10. Idiots, why cant anyone debate intelligently.

    because the American people (by which I mean mostly the right wing) is addicted to the fatal rush of FEAR. They do everything.. everything.. as a reaction to what they fear at that moment. And Glen Beck et al know this. Also, most people have never taken a debate class and are wholly unfamiliar with Godwin’s Law – which seems to be invoked about ten times an hour on talk-radio.

  11. There’s a variation on Godwin’s Law that applies specifically to the heathcare debate.

    From Wikipedia:
    On October 20, 2008, Rachel Maddow, on The Rachel Maddow Show, proposed a corollary to Godwin’s law that as the time a liberal candidate is believed to be winning an election or argument increases, the probability that they will be labeled communist or socialist approaches one.

  12. @Daniel:
    DONTYOUKNOWPEOPLEWILLDIEIFWEDONTDOTHISNOW
    – No, you’ll die if you need medical treatment, and can’t get it. That’s a reality many people face.

    HEYYOUCRANKSYOUBETTERSHUTUPANDDOASWESAY
    – Exactly! Shut up and do as we say! That’s precisely the forceful tactics leftist employ. That’s why democrats are flash mobbing town halls: It’s a power move.

    GLOBALWARMINGISREAL
    – Only if you listed to those crazy scientists with their nutty evidence and tested theory.

    ALGOREWON
    – Only if you count the votes. History will show that Bush actually won. After all, if you cheat and win, you still win!

    @Estaban:
    Do you use grocery insurance to buy food at Safeway?
    – You’ve got a point there. I don’t. Of course, I might if my groceries totalled just over $200k. When paying an exorbitant amount for things like car crashes and heart surgery, I think insurance might be the way to go.

  13. @Patricio: That’s the beauty of free market, healthcare isn’t mandated. If you want to save a buck, albeit risky, by not having healthcare, you can. There are a good number of people who can afford healthcare and do this.

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” – Anatole France

    When I had to forgo getting health insurance to “save a buck,” that “buck” went toward rent and utilities. While the cost of insurance remained technically affordable under my paycheck (that is, it was a lesser amount than the sum total of the check), not buying was hardly a freely-made choice on my part.

    “Beauty of the free market,” my white ass.

  14. @Estaban:
    Do you use grocery insurance to buy food at Safeway?
    – You’ve got a point there. I don’t. Of course, I might if my groceries totalled just over $200k. When paying an exorbitant amount for things like car crashes and heart surgery, I think insurance might be the way to go.

    ………………….

    Any idea what a high deductible health insurance policy would cost you? If you want health insurance that kicks in once your medical bills hit $5,000 in a single year you’ll pay less for that policy than you do for your cell phone or cable TV.

    Pay for visits and routine stuff out of pocket. Keep a high deductible policy for disasters. Save a ton of money and stop lining the pockets of the insurance companies.

  15. @Jocelyn: OMG, I think you are my lost sister. You just described the “conversation” I had with my father about this–mayo covered knife and all!

  16. @Esteban

    If you want health insurance that kicks in once your medical bills hit $5,000 in a single year you’ll pay less for that policy than you do for your cell phone or cable TV.

    I’m guessing that you’re single, under 30 years old, relatively healthy, with no pre-existing conditions. It’s really amazing how some people think that getting health insurance is as easy as going without a luxury such as cable tv or a cellphone. I’m not sure if you’re rationale is out of ignorance or malice…. Perhaps both.

  17. Nope, wrong. Wife and 3 kids, one of them with type one diabetes.

    This is the part so many of you don’t seem to get. Who do you thing pays for this stuff? We all do. All the money comes from us no matter what system we use. The choice we have is whether we pay that cost as efficiently as possible in a system that actually treats us as consumers who’s business is something they must earn or whether we try to hide the costs from ourselves with an expensive layer of paperwork and bureaucracy in a system where insurance companies are the customer and we are nothing but cogs in the system.

  18. @ Esteban RE: “…expensive layer of paperwork and bureaucracy in a system where insurance companies are the customer and we are nothing but cogs in the system.”

    So, Esteban, if I understand you correctly, you too seem to notice a problem with the insurance companies vis a vis the way that we, the consumers and supposed beneficiaries of their “product”, are treated. And Obama is trying to reign in the insurance companies to tilt the scales in favor of the consumers of their product. So what problem do you have with that again?

  19. Seriously, do any of you anti-health care shouters actually speak to people from other countries about how their publically funded health system works? Because I can’t figure out how you sit there in your little black holes with the blankets over your heads, oblivious to how well it works in Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia etc.

    There are no “death panels”. There is no $15K for having a baby. There is no health care being held back because of your age or your disability – you are a human being, and treated the same as the next person – like a human being in need of health care.

  20. Or maybe you were looking for something more “official”, such as this:

    “Dr. Anne Doig, the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association, said her country’s health care system is “sick” and “imploding,” the Canadian Press reported.

    “We know there must be change,” Doig said in a recent interview. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.”

    Canada’s universal health care system is not giving patients optimal care, Doig added. When her colleagues from across the country gather at the CMA conference in Saskatoon Sunday, they will discuss changes that need to be made, she said.”

    But what kind of changes, I wonder:

    “Current president of the CMA, Dr. Robert Ouellet, will make a presentation at the conference about his findings when he toured Europe in January, and met with health groups in several countries.

    Ouellet has said that “competition should be welcomed, not feared,” meaning private health insurance should have a role in the public health system.

    Doig said she isn’t sure what kind of changes will be proposed when the conference wraps up, but she does know that changes have to come – and fast. She said she understands that universal health care, while good in some ways, has not always been helpful for sick people or their families.”

  21. Sounds to me like the problem is the prices charged by health care providers not how the money is being paid (insurance vs. individual). Why are the insurance companies the hot topic?

    The public at large is stuck with the bill regardless of whether it is paid by insurance, individuals or the government. Whether it is taxation or a premium or a check straight to the doctor, we pay. I prefer the most efficient method since it will likely cost less due to reduced administrative costs.

    From what I can recall, the insurance companies aren’t allowed to make profits on their premiums. They must pay out what they take in. The way they make money is through investing the retained premiums before they are paid out. So basically, I pay into a pool of money and then someone else, or myself draws from the pool in a time of need. The insurance company then invests a portion of that pool to make their profit as well as administer to the costs of maintaining the pool.

    In reality, this debate is over who controls the pool of money: 1) the federal government that can’t understand how a budget operates (both Dems and Republicans) or 2) individual businesses (insurance) that must compete for consumers and are held to the ultimate level of accountability, consumer choice.

    We threw Madoff in jail for running a sleazy Ponzi scheme but he is nothing compared to Uncle Sam and his highly orchestrated Ponzi called Social Security. Based on how well Social Security is being handled I can only imagine what would happen if we entrust another pool of money to the federal government. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

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