Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Camelot Ends With a Whimper, Not A Bang.

“This is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American - north, south, east, west, young, old - will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”
--Senator Ted Kennedy, exactly one year ago today. Rest in peace.


At 1:09 PM, Blogger RJ Rusch said...

Except, health care is not a right when the government has the power to deny it to you.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger BlueDuck said...

A lot of denial of health-care occurs today, and it doesn't come from the government. Private insurance companies have a pretty solid monopoly on that already.

If conservatives are so vehemently against government involvement in health-care, I call on them to be intellectually honest and start openly campaigning for the repeal of Medicare and the VA medical system.

I'll just sit over here and start holding my breath.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger RJ Rusch said...

First off, health care is NOT denied, health insurance may be. Secondly, to say that insurance companies have a monopoly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the definition of the word monopoly, there are well over 100,000 insurance companies competing in the United States. And conservatives have tried numerous times to privatize social security, Medicare, and the VA.

Keep holding your breath, but whatever you do, don’t count on big brother to come to the rescue.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger BlueDuck said...

Health-care, health-insurance... you're getting into semantics and contradicting yourself. Two points in that regard:
1) If your health-insurance is denied, that is more or less a denial of care. Most Americans simply cannot afford to pay out of pocket the exorbitant costs of care in America today. So their options are either to go into debt forever (for the crime of having fallen ill!) or to go without the care and hope for the best. It is a corrupt racket these insurance companies run and it needs to change.
2) First you said that health CARE would be denied by the government... now you're trying to argue that care cannot be denied. The fact of the matter is that, even under any level of gov't involvement, they cannot deny care. That's a scare tactic. Care is always provided in America... as with the insurance companies, it's the payment that's at issue.

And it should be noted that what is being proposed here is not a government takeover of health-care or even a government health-care system. All these bills are proposing are reforms for the existing PRIVATE health-care system... with the (increasingly unlikely) possibility of a public *OPTION* (odd that that word gets lost in the shuffle) for people to choose from amidst all the other private options. And for this people are going nuts. Yikes.

Regarding my use of the word "monopoly", I stand by it. Here's why. Today, people have really two choices in regards to their health-care: a) get insurance and deal with rising costs and all the bureaucratic nightmares involved there, or b) go it alone and risk massive economic costs should you fall ill. The latter is obviously the worse option of the two. And that is where the insurance have the monopoly.

The exceptions, of course, are the elderly (who have Medicare), the very very poor (who can get Medicaid), and veterans (who have the VA). All of these are very popular with the people who have them. Some of us would like a similar option (notice that word again?) made available to all.

Or at least new rules in place to keep the insurance companies from screwing over their customers (and that last word there makes me ill... it's a scandal when people's health-care is run like a business).

You say that conservatives have tried to privatize Medicare and the VA. I would counter that no serious, grand-scale effort has ever been made to do so (unlike Bush's Social Security efforts, which were thankfully a bust... can you imagine turning that system into a market-based 401k-ish system given the collapse in 2007 and 2008?). Conservatives are smart enough politically to not actively attack Medicare. I mean this week you have Michael Steele-- GOP chairman-- twisting himself in knots by attacking Medicare just enough to (maybe) appease the angry base but also overall praising Medicare and how great it is to seniors, so he doesn't lose that crucial bloc in this fight. It's ridiculous.

You like your private insurance? Fine, keep it. But I'd a different option. And you deserve the right to know your insurance won't disappear overnight if you get sick. And that's the bottom line.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger RJ Rusch said...

Your ignorance on the content of this bill astounds me. Do you really take everything the president says at face value? Based on the bill, the government “option” is an option in the regard that you can either take it, or be taxed the amount your premium would be anyway. So yea, if you wanted to keep your private insurance, you can, you just get to pay double. Anyone who doesn’t want the public option and doesn’t have a private plan is screwed, because the bill limits new enrollment in private plans. Don’t try and feed me the white house talking points unless you can point to a section of the bill and support what you have to say.

Now, I have not contradicted myself. Listen carefully this time. The way the system is NOW, you cannot be denied care. If the government controls the system, you most certainly can and will be denied care. They said they want to cut costs; well, where are we going to cut costs from? We only spend money on the sick.

Your elaboration on your personal definition of the word monopoly further demonstrates your ignorance of the concept. If you feel that your current insurance provider is screwing you, there is nothing stopping you from seeking out a different insurance provider (well, until HR 3200. Then the government will). Right now, you can change your plan, your coverage, and even your provider if you don’t like what you have. Like I said, there are many companies in competition to choose from. That’s the way free market works.

We can both agree that there are problems with the system. But I won’t sit back and accept that just because a bill has the title “Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”, that it’s good for people. I’m going to read it first. A government takeover of literally every aspect of the health care industry is not the way to go.


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