Monday, June 22, 2009

Hell Yes I Want Socialized Medicine

"Socialized medicine" is the "scare" part of the latest scare tactic - favorite right wing tool for any public debate. They want us to believe that the passage of health care reform with a public option will turn our country's health system into a 1970s version of East Berlin, complete with gray walls and old ladies waiting in line for a loaf of moldy bread.

Grow up and stop with the quivering lips, Free Market Zealots (FMZs, from now on). The public option is coming, and it's high time we got back to it.

History has never been a strong suit for the FMZs. While they try to paint themselves as conservatives longing to return to the glory days of pre-regulatory capitalism, those days never really existed, because, whenever attempted, the flaws in laissez-faire economics arise more quickly than pimples on a teen in a chocolate factory. Like most fundamentalists, the FMZs want to roll back societal progress to a happier day that has never existed.

In the health care context, we are currently stuck in a historical accident of economic evolution. Traditional medicine dates back to tribal caregivers, but began to evolve as a "scientific" approach gained dominance, primarily through the wonderful "laboratories" provided by more and more horrific wars. When the rise of hospitals and their increased capital costs made medicine something beyond the scope of the genial doctor or helpful Public Health Nurse (a sadly under-appreciated part of the health care equation, but that's another blog post), charities - not entrepreneurs (other than patent medicine purveyors, but that's yet another blog post) - jumped in and tried to fill the gap.

Now, through a series of historical accidents and skillful insurance company manipulations of the marketplace, we are left with a system that illogically ties health care to employment and converts healers into profit centers.

The irrationalities of the current system are too numerous to catalog. The misery and inefficiencies are hidden in bankruptcy filings and coverage denials that are ignored by the public, because they are merely contractual disputes between a sick person and an insurer with a PR department.

Indeed, the lack of a public rallying point is the greatest tool for the status quo. Can you imagine the public outcry if a state bureaucrat denied coverage as heartlessly as a Coventry claims manager? Can you imagine the letter you would write to your government officials if you were forced to wait in a state-run waiting room as long as you've spent waiting in your current waiting room? If a public health option were to deliver exactly the same level of care that the current fragmented system delivers, we would have public agitation for greater efficiencies and improved results.

A public health option will not be a shangri-la. Mistakes will be made, as they are now, but they will draw corrective attention, rather than insurer indifference. Costs will continue to rise, though the enormous cost of multiple conflicting billing systems will be reduced.

Most importantly, though, we eliminate the incredible inefficiency of the uninsured visiting emergency rooms for unchecked chronic conditions. We can prevent the upper-middle-class family being reduced to bankruptcy because they choose to keep their child alive. We can allay the concerns of the single mother listening to her child cough and weighing whether a co-pay will force a missed meal for her other children.

Less soft-heartedly, we will also free the would-be entrepreneur who is chained to a job she must keep in order to maintain health care benefits, rather than starting her small business. We could, if we make the system broad enough, free our employers from the hidden tax imposed by insurance companies that are draining their profitability and dampening their ability to compete in a global marketplace. We would free up the cadres of people who are paid millions of dollars to produce, review, reject, approve and argue about medical bills.

It's time, people. Don't let some made-up story about some Brit who had to wait a month for hip surgery make you forget about Tracy Pierce, who died right here in Kansas City. Don't let fear of spending time in a waiting room blind you to the fact that every thirty seconds you currently wait in that room, another person is filing for bankruptcy due to medical bills they probably thought were covered.

I'm not falling for the scare tactics, and I hope you won't either. If they want to label the public health option as socialized medicine, I don't care, and I won't flinch. "Socialized" may be a naughty word in some circles, but the status quo is obscene.

Labels:

45 Comments:

Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Excellent post my friend. You have it exactly right.

There is no justice in a system where people and corporations are allowed to profit and get rich off of the pain and suffering of the chronic and terminally ill.

6/22/2009 8:18 AM  
Blogger les said...

Nicely done. I find it telling that a number of politicians and insurance types are concerned about a public option, because consumers might prefer it. Horrors...oh wait, that's the current system...

6/22/2009 9:49 AM  
Blogger les said...

It's too bad that the biggest threat to the public option seems to be Senate Democratic "centrists." http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018713.php

The public in general and voters in particular appear to be the least of their concerns.

6/22/2009 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Ben Nelson - insurers' whore said...

One of those "centrists," Sen. Ben Nelson, lived in Kansas City back in the early 1980s.

I met him then and he was very open about his belief that policyholders should just send their money to insurance companies and shut up.

Ben Nelson was an insurance industry whore then and he is an industry whore now.

He lived here when he was chief of staff for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is funded mainly by the insurance industry. He was hired on by the commissioners at the direction of insurance trade associations to fire staff members who had become to close to consumers in their thinking. I guess there were no opennings for baby seal clubbers and Ben needed a job -- he had run an insurance company into the ground financially prior to working for the NAIC.

After he left the NAIC, Nelson made millions as a glad-handing attorney for a big California-based insurance company that went broke by over indulging in Micheal Milken's junk bonds. That failure cost state treasuries millions and Ben's fingerprints were all over the deal.

Ben walked away with about $5 million in cash and ran Nebraska Governor. He was a friend to the insurance industry there and raised a ton of campaign cash from the insurance sector to run for US Senate. Now Ben is in the Senate looking out for insurers' interests there.

He is still bought and paid for like an Independence Avenue streetwalker; although, he spends more time on his hair than most of the girls working the Avenue.

Ben should not be in the Senate negotiating health policy, he should be in jail paying his debt to society.

Obama should just write him off and work on peeling off a 2 or 3 Senate Republicans who are facing tough re-elections next year.

6/22/2009 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The public option is coming, and it's high time we got back to it."

Word games!! Why not call it what it is? The socialized option is coming, and it's high time we got back to it.

“Don't let some made-up story about some Brit who had to wait a month for hip surgery make you forget about Tracy Pierce, who died right here in Kansas City.”

No fear tactic here. If we don’t get the public option, you’ll die. How is that not a fear tactic? Further, are you really trying to claim that the “public option” would have provided for Tracy what the insurance company would not? Can you support that claim, or is it simply a matter of hoping the grass is greener on the other side?

Don't let fear of spending time in a waiting room blind you to the fact that every thirty seconds you currently wait in that room, another person is filing for bankruptcy due to medical bills they probably thought were covered.
The thought of filing for bankruptcy is not a fear tactic?

I'm not falling for the scare tactics, and I hope you won't either.

When the lawyers push for socialized legal representation I’ll consider socialized medicine. In the U.S. we have nearly 4 times the number of lawyers that we do doctors. Doesn’t the poor man have a right to competent legal representation just as much as the rich man?

6/22/2009 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

He lived here when he was chief of staff for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is funded mainly by the insurance industry.

It's misleading to state that the NAIC is funded mainly by the insurance industry. The NAIC is what it sounds like, an association of state government's insurance commissioners. It funds itself by selling data to insurance companies. It's not funded at the leisure or indulgence of insurance companies, like a trade association. It has a product that the companies can't buy anywhere else. The companies can't leverage the NAIC by threatening to stop buying their product. What they can do is promise future sweet gigs to NAIC staffers. So, they're not without the ability to influence the NAIC, but they don't own it like your wording suggested.

I'm far from an expert on the NAIC, but whenever I see them pop up, it is on the side of consumer interests.

Word games!! Why not call it what it is? The socialized option is coming, and it's high time we got back to it.

The public option involves people having the choice to buy an insurance policy from the government. Hospitals and practice groups remain in private hands.

Single payer involves the government picking up the tab for health care and paying for it through taxes - rather than having people pay premiums directly associated with health care coverage. Hospitals and practice groups remain in private hands.

Socialism involves government ownership of the means of production. The government owns the hospitals. All the doctors, nurses, janitors, etc. are government employees. I suppose vendors of linen and equipment could remain private. Or maybe the government would nationalize them too, along with the pharmaceutical companies. That's what socialism looks like.

6/22/2009 1:22 PM  
Blogger m.v. said...

government officials are already horrified just thinking of the "letter you would write to your government officials". while you are at it could you write a small letter to speed up construction on the 3rd and Grand?

6/22/2009 2:17 PM  
Blogger I Travel for JOOLS said...

I think nearly everyone agrees there needs to be a means for everyone to buy medical care but the question is from whom and how will it be financed. A public option could be run by the federal government, by the states or by an insurance company pool, but in all cases pre-existing conditions could not be excluded and enrollment in some plan, either the public option (however set up) or a private plan would be mandatory.

I think everyone worries that they could be one accident or illness away from financial disaster and this has to be corrected. It's just how.

6/22/2009 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does healthcare cost so much?

6/22/2009 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Rarely Breaks with Sophia said...

Sophia,

The NAIC publishes a good number of "consumer-oriented" press releases, but the association does very little in the way of consumer protection. Those press releases are misleading, but the contention that the NAIC is owned or controlled by the insurance industry is not.

With regard to its tax status and public accountability, the association will not even pick a single set of rules and follow them. The NAIC claims to be a public entity out of one side of its mouth while it claims to be a private association out of the other side of its mouth. It claims to be exempt from having to file a Form 990 because it is a public entity, but it denies Freedom of Information Act requests because it is a private association. The inability to select a set of rules and follow them makes me view the NAIC as a RICO action waiting to happen.

As far as its funding, the NAIC's loosy-goosie approach to financial filings, clouds any analysis of where its money comes from or where its money goes. The association's refusal to file a Form 990 raises all kinds of red flags. The Star really should investigate the NAIC on that issue.

Even the "trust us" reporting structure that the association has adopted suggests that the insurance industry funds a majority of the association's budget. It is also clear that insurers have has turned off the money flow several times when NAIC has drifted toward the consumer.

Yes, it gets money about 40 percent of its income from selling data to the insurance industry, or closely related firms, but it gets another 40 percent from filing fees that the companies have boycotted paying in the past. It is this filing fee income that gives the carriers boycott power over the commissioners' association. The Wall Street Journal and several congressional hearings have verified the leverage that the industry holds over the NAIC by use of the Fee Boycott mechanism.

The NAIC gets less than 5 percent of its budget from states, and that revenue is subject to industry lobbying in the state capitols -- the assessments are subject to legislative processes.

So while I usually agree with you Sophia, I guess I agree with the first commenter when it comes to the so-called association of insurance commissioners: the insurance industry owns the NAIC.

With regard to Ben Nelson I believe he votes the correct way about once a Congress -- for Democratic leadership. After the leadership vote, Ben is a lost cause who just seems to enjoy being a member of the world's most exclusive club.

6/22/2009 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Rarely Breaks,

I haven't had any dealings with the NAIC. I've only read about it in the paper. It's an interesting organization that I'd like to know more about. It's possible I'm desperate for signs of someone/ anyone avoiding regulatory capture. I appreciate your comments and will use them as a departure point for further research.

I do agree that Nelson is worthless (we don't even need his leadership vote anymore).

6/22/2009 8:40 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry, "FU" commenter, but that's not going to fly around here. If you have a disagreement with a fellow commenter, learn how to express yourself with a whole lot more class than you just showed.

6/22/2009 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Ben Nelson must have left the previous comment.

While Sophia can be "obnoxious" at times; today wasn't one of those times. The last comment was uncalled for.

6/22/2009 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow ... must have been a naughty one!

6/22/2009 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really doubt whether Ben can type.

6/22/2009 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I'm sorry I missed it. Dan and his readers are far more genteel than I am.

Dear Anonymous deleted commenter, who apparently thinks I am obnoxious:

Please do not be upset that Dan has deleted your comment. Please do not be upset that I did not have the opportunity to read your comment before it was deleted. You should probably thank Dan for sparing you the indignity of suffering my response to whatever nonsense it was you posted.

Best wishes,

Sophia

6/22/2009 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post Dan.

6/23/2009 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

I don't know, Dan. Governmental interference seems to be the primary reason for the deplorable state of American health care today, so bringing the government in to "fix" things seems like it would just make a bad situation worse.

When people say that health care should be a right, don't they really mean that it is justifiable to hold a gun to a doctor's head and force the provision of medical services?

6/23/2009 3:30 PM  
Anonymous The Humiliated FU Commenter Dan Deleted said...

What I said wasn't that obnoxious, really. It characterized Sophia as the Donna Rumsfeld of the blogoshpere in terms of her arrogance.

But her response to my unknown-deleted comments has me quite rattled. I don't want to suffer her retaliation and I fear her response will, as she implies, belittle me beyond repair.

Therefore I shall take this as a learning opportunity, and will use it as a departure for future self-reflection.

6/23/2009 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Donna Rumsfeld? My, my.... I guess that makes you a known unknown.

I don't want to suffer her retaliation and I fear her response will, as she implies, belittle me beyond repair.

That's melodramatic. If you made a comment stupid enough for Dan to delete it, I feel comfortable assuming it was easily mocked. No special skills involved. Depart, indeed, for future self-reflection.

6/23/2009 9:35 PM  
Anonymous A Known Unknown said...

Depart thee, indeed.

Easily mocked is not a criteria for Dan's deletion, as I think you know, Donna Rumsfelf/Sophia.

The Easily Mocked Commenters are the fodder of the blogger.

The primary criteria is the damning quality of the comment.

For example, comments that hit too close to home regarding Dan's employer get deleted, as do those comments that may hit a little too close to home regarding favored commenters.

The arrogance of it all.

6/23/2009 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

How to become a "favored" commenter at Gone Mild:

1. Pick a handle. Stick with it. The key to gaining favored commenter status is to be recognizable as a single commenter.

2. Stick to the point. For example, don't use every post as an excuse to rant about Funkhouser.

3. Don't go ad hom on Dan, and don't go anywhere near his family.

Favored commenter status, like virtue, is its own reward and carries no special privileges.

I'm obviously in violation of rule #2 at the moment, since this post is about health care reform, not laughing at anonymous idiots who feel the need to reach out and insult someone. (Since your follow up comments haven't mentioned any criticism of the substance of my health care/ NAIC comments, I assume the deleted comment didn't either).

People who think that ad hominem attacks have a "damning" quality are probably confused by these guidelines. I'm quite certain that Dan has never posted about his employer. And I don't think I've ever read someone here commenting about his employer without pulling Dan into it. So "Dan works for the big bad church!" comments are both off topic and ad hominem. And it hardly seems unreasonable that a blogger would want to avoid discussing his employer, regardless of who that employer is. It's setting boundaries, not arrogance.

Dan and I frequently disagree. I'm sure he has no problem with you criticizing my comments. He's requested that you do so in a more civil fashion. If all you can come up with is that I'm arrogant, that's kind of dull, off-topic, and more reflective of your insecurities than anything about me.

By the way, it's Donald Rumsfeld. There is no Donna Rumsfeld. If you want to call me the Donald Rumsfeld of the blogosphere, then decide that Donna Rumsfeld is a cute nickname for representing that idea (see, she's like Donald Rumsfeld, but she doesn't have a penis!), then that's fabulous. But calling me the Donna Rumsfeld of the blogosphere only draws attention to your discomfort with my gender.

6/24/2009 8:49 AM  
Blogger les said...

I don't know, Dan. Governmental interference seems to be the primary reason for the deplorable state of American health care today, so bringing the government in to "fix" things seems like it would just make a bad situation worse.

When people say that health care should be a right, don't they really mean that it is justifiable to hold a gun to a doctor's head and force the provision of medical services?


Unfortunately, this isn't too bad an example of the state of the debate today. Unspecified, uncited, unknown "gov't interference in health care"--like what, requiring medical personnel to be qualified? Providing a source of health care to a small portion of the uninsured population that the private insurance industry won't touch--veterans, elderly, some kids?

The fear mongering and ignorance really shows through with the "gun to the head" whine; sorry, that would be extending a check to a service provider, covering an agreed on price for a particular service, paid by a public insurance plan. The stupid, it burns. No one will be forced into medical school, forced into a particular practice or forced to provide service to anyone--except in the sense that they're currently forced to deal with private insurers regarding coverage, price, payment, etc.

6/24/2009 9:13 AM  
Blogger the front porch: said...

Great quote from Obama's news conference yesterday:

Q: Won't that drive private insurers out of business?

THE PRESIDENT: Why would it drive private insurers out of business? If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government -- which they say can't run anything -- suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical.

6/24/2009 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Les, doctors aren't currently forced to deal with private insurance companies. There are doctors who refuse to accept insurance and will only take payment directly from their patients.

The fear mongering and ignorance really shows through with the "gun to the head" whine; sorry, that would be extending a check to a service provider, covering an agreed on price for a particular service, paid by a public insurance plan.

The money used to do these things isn't extracted under threat of force? Maybe I'm mistaken. If I'm free to opt out of funding these projects, please advise how I might safely do so.

6/24/2009 12:21 PM  
Blogger les said...

Lance, you skipped the whole question about how the government is currently ruining the health care system.

If there are doctors not taking insurance now, no one will force them to take it if a public plan is in place. There may be some; there are some who won't accept Medicare--shocking news: no guns to their heads!!! If too many docs refuse to accept public plan payments, people won't opt for the public plan and it'll fail. Frankly, this problem is likely too minute to care about; and i don't know of a single hospital that refuses to deal with insurance--you might be surprised to know many doctors work in hospitals.

The money used to do these things isn't extracted under threat of force? Maybe I'm mistaken. If I'm free to opt out of funding these projects, please advise how I might safely do so.

I assume this is a whine about paying taxes, that are used for things you don't like. A far cry form guns at doctor's heads, but I guess we're agreed that was a phenomenally stupid comment. Now you're on a classic whine, used by all kinds; personally, I'm pissed that my taxes have been used to run a giant cluster fuck war in Iraq, at a far higher price tag than health care reform at its worst projections. You must be devastated to know you're currently supporting major misuse of emergency rooms by the uninsured, the most wasteful and costly approach out there. Try politicing for a system that makes more sense. Of course, you're welcome to leave the country for a libertarian paradise, as soon as you find one. I've heard that suggestion from right wingers who love them some war, frequently.

6/24/2009 2:05 PM  
Blogger les said...

Some current info for Lance, apparently worried that when the black helicopters bring the blue helmets to force him a gunpoint to take public plan health insurance there will be no doctors for him:

Although Medicare pays physicians about 20% less than private plans, 97% of physicians still participate in the program, Clemente said. A public plan wouldn't likely pay any less than Medicare, so there would be no reason to expect physicians to refuse patients who are insured by the public plan, he said.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee, which advises Congress, estimates Medicare pays hospitals about 25% less than do private plans, but nearly all hospitals participate in Medicare.


From: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Washington-Watch/12771

I note that most proposals indicate a public plan will not manage payments as low as Medicare, per intertoobs reporting.

6/24/2009 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Les, here is an article that explains how government regulation and control have resulted in lower quality health care at higher prices.

My objection to the aggressive use of force has caused you to a) insult me; b) call me a whiner; c) offer examples of government waste as justification; d) instruct me to get politically active; and e) direct me to leave the country. Hmmm.

6/24/2009 3:49 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Known Unknown -

Thank you for observing that comments attacking my boss, my employer or my faith tend to get deleted. If that in any way offends you, you should give it a little thought.

I don't protect Sophia - she doesn't need it. But I do delete obscene ad hominem comments, most of the time, no matter who they're directed to. If you want to play in a monkey cage, go elsewhere.

6/24/2009 3:54 PM  
Blogger les said...

My objection to the aggressive use of force

Had you actually cited an instance of use of force, rather than simply bedwetting about it, I might have responded otherwise. You present unfounded stupid, I return mockery. Do I assume from your cite to cognitive dissonance that you can't tell the difference between guns to the head and comment section mockery? Best stay off the intertubes, young Lance.

Nice article--a 1993 summary of how non-profits and Blue Cross Blue Shield ruined doctors' profits. TLDNR. Yawn.

6/24/2009 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Maybe you didn't read my original comment closely enough?

When people say that health care should be a right, don't they really mean that it is justifiable to hold a gun to a doctor's head and force the provision of medical services?

Well, don't they?

You fail to comprehend my second comment as well:

The money used to do these things isn't extracted under threat of force?

Well, isn't it?

I know it is uncomfortable to acknowledge that you support violence, but if you're going to do so, you should at least be honest about it.

6/24/2009 5:31 PM  
Blogger les said...

Well, don't they?

Um, no, Lance, they don't. A right to health care means people get included in an insurance plan, that doesn't refuse anyone who's sick, and that negotiates with providers to pay for services. As is currently the case, providers can (and in some few cases will) refuse, and only do business with other folks. Your "gun to the head" "aggressive use of violence" statements are fundamentally stupid and unworthy of reasoned argument.

You haven't actually provided any actual, you know, examples or facts; so I continue to assume that you regard taxation as "... money used to do these things ... extracted under threat of force?" It's been a while since the IRS held guns to anyone's head, but apparently you think mockery is "aggressive use of force" so I guess you're right to be worried. Ultimately, state action of all kinds is premised on coercion; so, if you don't like what a particular state is doing you have to change it or leave it. Good luck finding a non-taxing state. But basically, your hyperbolic fear and ridiculous comparisons to violence and guns just makes me think you're a WATB.

6/24/2009 6:03 PM  
Blogger m.v. said...

this is first time I have ever unsubscribed from receiving comments. maybe you two should get a (chat)room

6/24/2009 6:06 PM  
Blogger les said...

this is first time I have ever unsubscribed from receiving comments. maybe you two should get a (chat)room

I regret that my aggressive use of violence to force you to read comments has caused you discomfort. If this weren't Dan's place, I'd tell you to piss off or get a life or such; but he's more refined so I'll pass.

6/24/2009 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Lance,

I know you're a libertarian, but you probably need to fill in the blanks here. I'm with Les, when you first mentioned the use of force I assumed you were talking about taxation. If you're talking about something else, please clarify.

Because this "holding guns to the heads of doctors" argument is unclear. I'm unaware of any plan on the table that requires doctors to accept the public option insurance. So, no, all this talk of force and violence isn't self-explanatory.

6/24/2009 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Sophia, yes, when I said that money is extracted under threat of force I was referring to taxation.

The scenario of medical services provided under duress was meant to illustrate the consequences of recognizing a "right" to health care. Dan didn't go that far but some elected officials do, so I asked the question.

6/24/2009 11:02 PM  
Blogger les said...

The scenario of medical services provided under duress was meant to illustrate the consequences of recognizing a "right" to health care. Dan didn't go that far but some elected officials do, so I asked the question.

Cite? Fact? Actual bit of, you know, reality?

6/25/2009 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Here's a link, Les. The language from that page is tempered slightly from what she said at a candidate forum last fall at which she omitted the word "access".

6/25/2009 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I think you're over-interpreting, Lance. If a politician says that access to clean water is a fundamental right, most people think the politician is contemplating government action to ensure a clean water supply not that the politician is proposing a constitutional amendment making access to clean water, literally, a fundamental right.

The scenario of medical services provided under duress was meant to illustrate the consequences of recognizing a "right" to health care.

It takes more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to that conclusion. Are you imagining a scenario where the National Guard is called out to monitor doctors' offices and arrest them if they refuse anyone care?

6/25/2009 1:10 PM  
Blogger les said...

Lance, you're not doing yourself any good at all here. You assert that:

When people say that health care should be a right, don't they really mean that it is justifiable to hold a gun to a doctor's head and force the provision of medical services?

So far, your support has been a 1993 article in a management magazine, and a state representative candidate statement in favor of universal coverage. Leaving aside the fact that Beth has no role and at best minor influence in this process, you present zero support for your assertion that universal coverage equals gun to head of doctor. Zero.

Given that, apparently, "gun to head" is your libertarian hyperbole for "a law exists" (do you feel the gun to your head when driving on a street with a speed limit?), you have presented no evidence that any proposal includes a requirement that, under force of law, any citizen become a health care provider; any health care provider accept patients under any given insurance or benefit program; or any other example of anything.

Essentially, you're just pushing the typical libertarian whine--you might be taxed for something that you don't immediately need yourself, and that's not fair!!!!

6/25/2009 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Sophia, I didn't think that I was over-interpreting. That seems to imply that I am trying to decipher hidden meanings. I was just using the ordinary meaning of those words.

It takes more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to that conclusion.

Yes it does, but that is the only choice government has and the only direction in which government moves. "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -George Washington

Are you imagining a scenario where the National Guard is called out to monitor doctors' offices and arrest them if they refuse anyone care?

Not really, but if government declares that health care is a right, then the gun in the room will probably have to be picked up and drawn on someone eventually.

6/25/2009 11:53 PM  
Blogger les said...

Ya know, Lance, you really have to learn the limits of metaphor. I know libertarians have to be all humorless and wacky, but if you think constantly equating majority decisions on gov't action with your personal fear of being shot...well, just one of many reasons there's never been a successful libertarian party. From your cited article:

“The issue is not whether public schools are good or bad, but rather whether I am allowed to disagree with you without getting shot.”

See, that's the kind of high octane hyperbole and disconnect from reality that makes most of us point and laugh. If that's the issue, game over--no one gets shot for disagreeing (unless, of course, your definition of disagree is armed revolution; given your general state, I suppose I can't rule it out.) In the U.S., you can disagree all you want. If you lose the argument, and a majority decides funding schools is the deal, you can continue to disagree and argue and whatever. Even if you carry your disagreement to refusing to pay the portion of taxes that goes to schools, you will not be shot. Sued perhaps, garnished, whatever. Your utter inability to make such distinctions is not a positive for your argument.

In the end you might as well be honest--you're pissed that you might have to pay taxes for something you don't need immediately.

And by the way, you still have the argument and the metaphor ass backward; the point is universal access to health care. The "gun" will be pointed at your little wallet, and the market will take care of providing service providers. No one will be coercing doctors. Any doctor who finds negotiated compensation to be inadequate can refuse, can go Galt, move to Libertarian Heaven, whatever he or she wants.

6/26/2009 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Keep trying, Les, you'll get it eventually. Here's a hint:

The initiation of force is always immoral.

6/29/2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom line: the fundamental principle of this country is freedom from a tyrranical government. I don't want to pay for some slob's healthcare and he doesn't want to pay for mine. The reason health insurance is attached to employers is because it was a way for employers to offer benefits to employees at a time when income tax rates were outrageously high. Get over your selfishness and greed and pay your own way. My husband and I both went corporate b/c of the bennnies. Like responsible adults, we follow our dreams outside of our 40hour workweek rather than be freespirits for whom our neighbors can assume responsibility.

3/13/2010 6:39 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow, anonymous, that is a load of foolishness in one paragraph. If you really want to be free from supporting your neighbors, you should refuse your company's health insurance, shouldn't you?

3/13/2010 6:53 PM  

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