Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: November 2009

This is something that has been on my mind for quite a long time, and I think on most Americans.  Health care, the signal most important issue that is apparently plaguing the Obama administration to this day.  Here it goes, all my thoughts on it:

The first aspect of this debate is the extreme cost, I feel that I should lead with this one first so that I just can get it out-of-the-way instead of doing it later.  In other words, the cost of this, is going to be extreme, the  ‘estimates’ are around one trillion dollars, when the proposed bills are all accounted for.

But, that is just for right now, what about in the future?  Costs are likely to rise, especially for a government program, one which has the mandate to try and bring health care to as many people as possible.

More people are going to be born.

More will likely move to these shores.

And health costs will go up now that everyone can get cured for everything…on someone else’s dime.

The mere fact of the matter is that the costs are so underestimated is due to two things.  One it is slightly intentional, they do not want the people to know how much this is liable to cost them in the long run, especially after all the checks and systems go into effect.  The other is that they do not know, because they cannot know.  Nothing of this scale in this country has ever been tried before…and it still leaves a lot of people without insurance.  No one can know because no one, not politicians, can predict the future.  Who knows what advancements and things might pop up?

Which will probably mean medical advancement is going to come to a standstill in order to prevent costs from rising.

Oh and that is not even adding on competition to this debate, which the government will virtually be a monopoly…and those only drive up prices and the eventual costs of things.

And that is not even taking account of the simple odd fact that under the proposed legislation, we will not be seeing the benefits for this bill for years…but will be paying for it now.

That is insane.  In all aspects of our society when we pay for something, we are expecting to get immediate returns…except for perhaps in investing.

Even when you put money down on a house or a car you still expect to get that car or house to use.  And then only if you fail to keep up with your payments, then  it is taken from you because you failed to live up to your obligation.  But that’s it, we are not even going to be seeing what this is going to do for us,until after the next Presidential election…maybe.

Second, the issue of the death panel has caused the most serious issue that has effected the debate for everyone in this, its one of the most vicious, with the rationing of care, that to give care to all, some might not get the care that they need.

That some citizens might be considered more valuable to society then others in that society, because they have to give that care to those people, in order for that society to survive.  That they can contribute the most to that society.

Now private companies and organizations when they have done this in the past have been called out on it, they have had protests against them, and they have been forced to change, and rightfully so.  But yet, when governments do this, it is for the good of the people, and the true extent of this will be hidden from us, to only the most bold can ever find it.

And rationing has already started happening, with the mammograms, a government organization that I cannot recall the name of has stated that a report that they released around six months ago is now wrong, and that you can get care later in your life, and less often.

But its a short jump from that, to actually mandating it on the society that you live in, to help lower costs that extra bit more.

Because if your health insurance was yours…and not dictated by the government, you could do that as often as you want, and can afford, and not risk doing it on someone else’s dime, or someone telling you it costs too much so you absolutely cannot do it.

Finally, something has been bothering me, and I made this point…but I have heard it nowhere else.

The congressmen who support this, Barrack Obama, and others, they are all out there, saying that this will increase freedom, increase options, and increase your ‘right’ to health care.  That health care is a right to the people and it needs to be provided for by others.   That society, as a whole must pay for that with what you cannot provide for yourself.

But yet, I have heard it said, from a variety of sources, that there are punishments in this health care bill.  That you will either be fined…or that there is a part of this legislation that if you do not pay for this, if you do not buy health care insurance at all, then you will be jailed for it.

Now, how is that a right? The whole point of rights is that you can exercise them, or not, to suit yourself.  No one speaks exactly the same, everyone speaks different.  We have the right to assemble, but we often do not…and only with people of our choosing, that we do not have to assemble.

How about the right to bare arms? Not everyone owns a means to defend themselves, or chose to do so.

The right to not be searched and seized? Some people when they have nothing to hide can allow themselves to be searched.

All of these rights one can exercise themselves to the fullest extent of whatever they want to, or not want to.

This clearly is not in the health care intention, they are not making it a right.

Then what are they making it into? They are making it into a mandate, that you have to buy something for yourself that you may or may not want or need.

And, plus, if that was not enough, only a certain percentage of the population will pay for the health care of others, if you do have the perfect health care, and you do not switch jobs, and you are able under all the provisions to keep your health care, then you will still have to pay, and be taxed higher for it, for your good health care…because you do have health care, in order to pay for someone who does not have exactly what you have.

Now this provides another crisis in ethics: That the job of taxation, and government is to provide goods and services for the benefit of everyone.  The postal service, military, transportation systems, and others, they are all provided because they benefit everyone pretty much equally.  Oh and if you want to use a bus system provided for the state…you have to pay for it.

But not with health care…everyone will be paying for everyone’s health care, if they want it or not.  That they themselves might never see the benefits of what they are doling out cash for.

Which leads to the final issue with this, with this being a potential mandate, and a near monopoly this leads to something else I have been debating out with people.

In a recent debate I was asked: Don’t you think its odd that America is the only western power without…I think it was health care…not sure.

My answer being obvious, I will not go into it.

What this brings up is everyone is different, every country has different ways of doing things, of treating its people, and what the people expect from their government.

If you like he NHS that is fine with me, but that does not change the real and serious concerns I have about the current bill that is being proposed by Congress.  It is not for me, and I do not think it will work for many Americans.

There is no one size fits all system, and this shockingly seems to be attempting to do just that.

The answer to this conundrum to me is more, more competition, more options, truly, not creating a government system that will run everything, but having individualized plans for the individual.

If they like their healthcare that is fine.

If they like healthcare insurance companies, that is fine.  And good and right for them

If they go through their employer that is fine.

If they want to set up a plan between them and their doctor, no paperwork, no middlemen, just a base plan, then that is fine.  Whatever the individual wants, coupled with real TORT reform, and that would be great.  The individual should be the only one that determines what kind of care they should strive for.

Even up to a government option, as long as what that is.  But I still get leery of governments saying they will give you the option to do something or not,because today’s governments seem hell-bent on turning options into mandates.

As long as you have the ability to pay, and the want to pay, you should be able to.  And that again included the government option.  If you want it, then you should be able to get it…and then pay for it yourself.

This is what I believe anyways, I welcome your opinion, you can comment, you can write me, I do not care whether you agree with me or not.  Let us have the debate.  Show me where I am wrong, because I do not especially like thinking that the USA government can be capable of doing death panels, or all this other stuff.  It is our obligation to question what we hear.

I have heard it said, once…probably not a direct quote…that a person can be smart, but that people are stupid.

Now whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of a quote I may or may not have heard once, it did get me thinking, mainly about the status of society and where we are at right now with it.

Now first off, people and persons can be smart, they can be stupid, they can be ignorant, they can be evil, they can be angelic.  All the spectrum of behavior a person, and thus a people, can be. Wrapped up in society.

But in the end, I think, I am going to have to go with ‘the people’ being smarter than just anyone person.  The founders thought so despite them being big on the individual, it was still ‘we the people’ our government, and not a government of the one or the few.

So where does this leave us?

People, as a whole, are more smarter than a person can be.  For very obvious reasons too I think, history is repeat with examples of people coming together forming groups, and opposing evil, or occasionally furthering it.  But always being there working to a goal that the group can all agree upon.

But in the end it goes back to the checks and balances inherent in our constitution, and inherent in our capitalist systems,and inherent in our way of life.

Simply that you can have the most evil most greedy most ignorant person in the world, but that does not matter because he is checked by all the others around him.  People do not have to be good or evil, and sadly they can be more often evil then good.

But in the end I put a faith in the individual, to check the evils of others, and to make smart educated decisions.  That is why society ultimately errs on good, because of what the people want.  If we want something stopped, or are ready for it to be stopped.  It will be.  People are not a stupid bunch of farm animals, who cannot make decisions, we do have value.  Checking through a process of rigid competition the more evil desires on the part of businesses, and of governments.

At least that is the way it works in theory.  And human nature does not always comply with this.

So then why the rise of evil and corruption in the world and in the government?

Two things:

First of all people are ‘lazy’ when it comes to organizing, and getting together to actually effect change, or we have been in the past.

Second of all is much more severe.  The individual has had a campaign wailing against it for the last long time, that we do not matter, that we do not have value.

For the last little while now we have had an almost constant erosion of the value of the individual, from schools, from mass media, and from other sectors of our lives that are bombarded upon us daily.  Things that have told us, through other historical examples, that humanity is worthless, that we cannot do anything, that we are not a good species.  Which is an attack on our humanity itself, people telling us our humanity is evil and rotten, and we need it to be fixed by….

The power of the Government.

Because if you treat people like idiots, and like they are worthless, you will get that out in return.  I prefer to increase the value of the individual, that we all have value, and that we all are worth something.  If you teach the individual that, it could be a very good thing.

And while government has to become the supreme arbiter of taking care of the individual, it must diminish one place where humanity has always looked to for guidance.  Religion, and rules on the divine, things that…if used right, have strengthened the individual.

But regardless, the only thing that can keep our society going the way it has been, is the strength of the individual.  And then, as a group, coming together and acting in our own self interests, all of own self interests, and checking all the other groups that might want to take power over all of our lives.

Recently, with me focusing so much on the 1984 and its relation to politics,  I remembered another topic that I was going to bring up.

This one, was something curious that has happened in my life.  I have had two major debates  my high school experience.

One was at the beginning of it, during Freshman year, one was at the end, during senior year.

Both was on the Iraq war/ the war on terror.

One came up because of a project…and I forget why the first one came up.

One was awesome and brilliant, with high fives being exchanged at the ability of the class to hold a civil debate.

And one got out of control, screaming, yelling, cutting people off.  And I ended it by leaving the room, after someone asked snidely, “and where did you get your information from…Huckabee?”

Now before I go on, let me just say that both were excellent teachers, truly admirable examples of their profession (for what it is worth).  Though one of them did like to call me ‘his radical conservative’ back when I was younger, a name I took a lot of pride in.

But several things happened in both debates that could have made the difference.

One way controlled, in the Socratic method, and was handled generally one at a time.

One was uncontrolled, a basic free for all that emotions went high on, with people cutting off each other…and the teacher did have some direct and actual participation in the debate.

Now other than one side will tend to get louder when they have the authority figure on their side perceived or otherwise, the lesson here I think is a simple one.

Controlled situations are…well easier to control, than non controlled situations.  The better the debate is for everyone, the better the ability for everyone to talk calmly with one another.  If things get out of hand, emotions run high, and that will not help anyone at all, no one will be convinced, everyone looks like morons, and the points aren’t really made because everyone is dealing with their own template of what happened instead of what actually did.

Which I will be more than happy to articulate my points in future blogs…many many blogs…and tell you what the rest of the class should have let me say, and then I would have given you your fair shake.  This is what should have happened, but it did not.

This is yet another example, of something from school, that has helped shapen my Conservatism.

Last year we had to read the dystopian novel by George Orwell, 1984, in our English class.

I asked my teacher outside of class, during our ‘tutorial’ period, whether or not she saw that this could still happen, whether or not the events of 1984 might still become reality later on.  This was in March, so it was after President Obama took office.  She said that no, it could not happen, and that we avoided it…in basic paraphrasing…because of the movements of the sixties and seventies. I do not know if she referred to them as such…cannot remember, but in essence the ‘hippie’ and other movements going on at the time.

Even though I can see her point, I respectfully disagree with it…I could not get into any depth at the time because class was about to start.

But I think the point here is what most political movements in history…the recent ones especially after the American Revolution…is simply a kind of my big government versus your big government.  That these forces can be hijacked, and usurped from the inside, and turned into something that is very different from its original intent.  That they do not like the kind of government control that was being offered by the other side, mainly in regards to the Vietnam War, but that they want their own kind of big government, one that is socially responsible and provides for the social welfare of the people.

Which has been a rather constant thread throughout human history, most uprisings, revolutions, and rebellions only established their own version of the problem, some disgruntled person or persons led the charge against the current leadership, overthrows them, and then eventually someone else comes into power.

Which is one of the things that make the American Revolution so unique, it was a revolution to over throw the current system, and then completely replace it with a brand new government, different from anything that came before, with a whole lot of unique freedoms.

But more on that later.

Right now we are going through much the same thing, both parties and all sides are offering us two different versions of Big Government.  Two sides of the same coin with little difference.  Now while there is a lot of people genuinely interested in getting government off the backs of the people, that does not mean that the leadership of any of the parties want this.  Both are taking us down much the same path.

It is unclear though, who is who, who really cares because they do, and who is actually trying to say ‘follow me, I can do it bigger and better than the other guy’.

It is also unclear to me how much of 1984 we are actually going to get in the long run.  Where exactly we are being taken with this dangerous growth of government into all of our lives at this moment in time.

But what I do know is that we should regard with suspicion, and danger, the growth of any government.  In our lives, or in other people’s lives across the globe.  We should be on guard against that and have an open and honest debate, to question with boldness if the government does decide it needs to grow.  Whether it is in the name of national security, or in the name of social well-being.