Sunday, November 22, 2009

Understanding Health Care Reform Requires Compassion and A Clear Look at the Facts.

Here's a typical complaint about health care reform from A Conservative Teacher. The writer begs to understand how anyone would support health care reform, yet refuses to give credence to any supporter's views because they counter his own. Oh, and he fails to listen to the facts. If he were truly interested in understanding why others support the health care bill, don't you think he would have a comments section on his blog??

The healthcare debate frustrates me and confuses me because I simply don't understand why certain groups are supporting the drive for nationalized healthcare. The AARP is urging its dwindling members to back a proposal that will cut from Medicare, provide funds for assisted suicide and death panels, and encourage the system to start rationing healthcare. Why would the AARP support this agenda? Why are you still a member of the AARP?

AARP has lost about 60,000 members since the summer but that's a drop in the bucket when you consider their overall membership is about 38 million members and growing thanks to boomers. Sadly, those seniors who left AARP were vulnerable; the "death panel" and rationing lies scared them away from a good program. The rationing of care is a myth, so too is the funding of assisted suicide and death panels.

Where aid in dying is a legal service, yes, that legal service will be noted in literature and covered by insurance, as all legal necessary services should be. The "cuts" in Medicare and "rationing" are simply proposed regulations that will prevent insurance companies from dropping patients when they feel like it and will prevent the medical industry from continuing to over-treat, over-medicate, and over-test Americans.

Why does the UAW support the healthcare plan by the Democrats? If I'm GM or Chrysler or Ford and I have two options of paying for healthcare for my employees or shoving them on the government plan and saving all that money, I'm shoving them on the government plan. The UAW is supporting a plan that would trade the quality coverage it has already bargained for with the government plan.

Although perhaps UAW understands that the fix is in- the government plan will a better plan than whatever the UAW has, because it will be funded on the backs of taxpayers to the cost of trillions of dollars over ten years, and trillions more over the next 10 years, if the United States lasts that long as a nation with that kind of spending and debt.

The Conservative Teacher failed to catch the fact that the health care bill is budget neutral. In fact, it will save American taxpayers in the long run by creating greater competition in the system and bringing down medical prices. Currently, we're the only country that doesn't barter drug prices with big pharmaceuticals, for instance. Cutting the fat, the UAW knows, will take some of the burden off businesses, will standardize care, and will bring in those citizens on the margins who don't have care now. There's no shoving going on here.

I don't understand the debate at all- there is no money for this program, it will raise costs, it will cause millions to be dropped from current plans, it will destroy the private insurance industry and lead to a loss in all of those tax dollars that industry provides, and it has many controversial and polarizing provisions in it like money for abortions (cut out of House version but in Senate version), money for assisted suicide, money for death panels, and many other controversial provisions.

Again, The Conservative Teacher is buying the opponents' line that this will cost more. And he's got an impractical soft spot for insurance industry. Those in the public plan will pay premiums for their insurance that are much lower than standard rates. And the plan will primarily be supported by those premiums. The only polarization of abortion is contrived; the plan (without the draconian Stupak-Pitts) will maintain the same standard of funding as before, mandated by the Hyde amendment. In other words, if you want to end abortion, work at it in other ways, not via the health care plan. Get your own bill.

The way this bill is being sold is by having people each share their sob story- that's anecdotal evidence that is nice, but should not be determining whether the bill is passed or not. Senator Debbie Stabenow is running a special interest lobbying group on her official Senate webpage (is that legal?) called Health Care People's Lobby (people's lobby... paging Soviet Russia...) where she encourages people to email her their sob stories about dealing with the insurance industry. Almost 10,000 people have emailed her various stories of how they where not able to take more advantage of an insurance system and how they were not able to get someone else to pay for their health-related procedures. This is the kind of 'evidence' that is being pushed as a reason to nationalize healthcare? I just don't understand why people are falling for this garbage argument.

Oh god the Soviet accusations are so tired. If you have no bit of compassion in you, like The Conservative Teacher, you don't give two shits about the 45 million uninsured Americans, not the 25,000 who die each year because they are uninsured. If you understand how the insurance industry works, for profit, and why it exists, to cover catastrophic issues that no single person could ever pay for themselves, you will scoff his callousness as missing the "but for the grace of god" stuff.

Health care should be a basic human right. And that alone makes "this garbage argument" a sad example of how snowed some Americans are regarding health care.

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