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3/23/2010

Where I go political for a minute - rant

Well, maybe a little longer than a minute.

I suppose it was predictable that the Internet would be awash in responses to the fact the 'The Bill' has been passed. And I suppose it was equally predictable that the 'haters' would seem to dominate those responses. After all, it's much easier to voice your opinion when that opinion is in opposition. It's harder to voice your opinion when, in fact, you're happy with the result at hand - whatever that result might be. Well, maybe 'Happy' is too strong a word - but the result is a step in 'your direction'. So the loudest voices are not the voices which support what has been done.

Tune them out. But do NOT ignore their message.

This 'Bill' is but a step in the right direction. It is going to need work to become what it truly needs to become. And as much as I and others would love to see that work get done, there are yet others out there, loud and vociferous others, who would see work done with the opposite intent - they would see what there is substantive in 'The Bill', gutted. They would see a return to the previous status quo.

They argue that 'fines' for those who refuse to insure themselves are unconstitutional. But if those fines go to a pool of money to defray the cost of treating the uninsured - which otherwise you and I would have to pay for - I find it hard to see that as a problem. AND - their rhetoric is wrong - you won't go to jail for not paying your fine - if you GET fined.

I have been working on this post off and on during the day, and I've just had someone make a comment to me on FB that puts this whole thing in a nutshell. What was said, essentially, was that your attitude regarding all of this depended, in large part, on your own situation. And that is EXACTLY right. If you're willing to look larger than your own concerns, your own pocketbook, your 'own', period, then you're one way about this. And if all you can see is you, and what others are supposedly going to take from you, then you are the other way about this. It all comes down to how selfish you are or are not. On how much you do or do not care about your neighbors.

It's like giving to charity. Some people will give to charity out of a genuine concern for the people served by that charity. Because there is no other way for them, personally, to reach those people. And they give generously. Literally, until it hurts. Other people will give to charity so that they can say that, they have given, when they are challenged about their care and concern for their fellow man. Oh, and the tax deduction. And as their justification for rescinding government programs that affect the poor.

These are the people who think government doesn't work. These are the people who don't trust ANYBODY. Including you.

These are the people who privatized much of what would have been government run activity, like FEMA. Remember New Orleans and Katrina? Remember how long it took to start getting real relief in there? Do you know why? Because most of FEMA's response capability had been turned over to private contractors. Because Privatization works better than the government.

Phooey.

I'm sorry. This is turning into more of a rant than I wanted. It's just that these "Me First, I Don't Care About You" people just get my goat.

Apparently, the opposition doesn't like the notion of Mandatory Health Care.

We all like Switzerland, right? Switzerland. Home of the best chocolate in the world. Home of people who yodel. Home of people who all own guns. Home of some of the most right-wing right wing fanatics in the world. Switzerland has Mandatory Health Insurance. Switzerland is one of the 15 healthiest countries in the world(#5). We are number 11. Forbes Magazine. Check it out.
The healthiest country in the world is Iceland - where they have NO insurance companies and NO private hospitals - where they have Universal Health Care. Paid for by taxes. And their aggregate (Federal equivalent & Local) taxes are 36%.

Okay. I'm done. I'm sure some of you are never coming back here. And for that, I'm sorry. And some of you are going to yell at me. And that's okay. The nice thing about America is that we are free to disagree with one another.

And now, more than ever,
Ndinombethe.

19 comments:

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Hey just a quick question: Did you notice that it took the US a few days to get into Haiti after the earthquake because they had difficulty getting supplies gathered quickly and then shipping them there? I noticed, but I wonder if I was the only one. Obama sure didn't get attacked for his reponse time the way Bush did with Katrina. But the situation was essentially the same.

I love ya, Lou. But I do respectfully disagree. And, there is so much of government that is broken, I'd rather see it get fixed than put another new program in place like this one. I'd like to see tougher immigration laws. I'd like to see an attack on Medicare Fraud. But, I guess that's not going to happen.

And of course I'm not leaving you.

Zoeyjane said...

I agree, wholeheartedly. It's a stepping stone - that's all it is, thus far - but it's a good one. And looking at the larger picture, outside of specific homes or even neighbourhoods, is exactly what I think most of us need to do more often, whether we're talking about health care or not.

I consider myself lucky to have mandatory health care. Even if I don't pay my bill, even if they (BC's MSP program) charge me interest on top of my bill and garnish my tax refunds to pay the balance, by law, they can NEVER cancel my medical.

Which means that I can have a penny to my name and get cancer, and still get treatment. I don't know how many Americans would be able to say that... and that's heart-breaking.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I don't know all the facts about this bill, but we desperately need health care reform in this country. We have elderly people having to choose between buying food, or buying meds. That is SHAMEFUL. I hope & pray that this is a step in the right direction.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

I am with you Lou. I am.

And I appreciate people who can respectfully disagree. Washington needs more of that.

It doesn't bother me that the opposition disagrees and is passionate about it. It bothers me that they have forgotten about manners and basic decency.

Tara R. said...

I'm not angry, I'm not happy. I don't know what to be until I know how this is going to play out. Personally, I want insurance reform, and do hope that our legislators continue to refine, and improve The Bill.

moneythoughts said...

You know when I was in the US Army, I got all the health care I needed and it was free, and it wasn't bad either. All the doctors and nurses were real doctors and nurses, not pretend Doctors either.

What I wish people would do is take a deep breathe and look at how the Health Care Reform Bill levels the playing field for the individual and family. A child with a pre-existing condition not covered by a family's insurance policy is a big hole, as is being dropped when you get sick and need to use your health insurance, and finally a family put in bankruptcy because of a major illness that wipes out the family's financial resources. Now, who can be against that?

People talk about socialism, well every major country has some form of universal health care and many are healthier than the USA. People need to chill and think. The purpose of health care insurance is not to make a few CEOs very wealthy. At least not to my mind it is.

Nan Sheppard said...

One step towards universal health care! *dance of joy...*

Jientje said...

As a European, it's always been very hard for me to understand what people in America have against health care?

Hockeymandad said...

I step is correct. I am happy for the progress but feel we can do so much better. Well said.

CaraBee said...

Respectfully, I will also disagree. And I don't think I'm selfish. As a matter of fact, conservatives give more to charity than liberals by a 2 to 1 margin, and that's outside of religious giving, where they also exceed their liberal counterparts. Do you honestly think they (we) only do it for the tax deduction? It's this kind of specious talk that has caused such division, and I'm disappointed that you would lower to it, Lou. Why not go all the way and call us racists and hatemongers, too? Which is what I heard all over twitter and the internet over the last few days. Talk about hate speech.

The vast majority of conservatives are compassionate, concerned people. We just don't think the government's role is in taking care of every aspect of our lives. The government, either party, has not shown much capacity for handling this much control. 30% fraud in Medicare is great example of that. Not that that is going to matter, because this bill SLASHED Medicare funding.

Please tell me how this bill will lower medical costs? Or lower insurance rates for that matter? It won't. The argument that those unpaid bills are the cause is dead wrong. They make up for less than 2% of all medical charges. That is not what is dragging down health care in this country. It's a straw man argument. There is little doubt that change needs to happen, but I truly wish the democrats would have taken even one of the many, many republican suggestions. Tort reform? Interstate sale of insurance? There was absolutely no effort made to make this a bipartisan effort. That dog and pony show the president put on was a charade.

I could go on and on about why this bill is not a good one, not the least of which is that it is so ridiculously financially unsustainable, but I know that you are completely sold on this and I will no more convince you of my position than you will me of yours. So we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm sorry I took up your whole comment section and I hope we can still be friends.

Big Mark 243 said...

Most of the time, I don't pay much attention to the comments others make, but Texas Momma's comment demonstrates some of what is wrong in public policy debates.

First, she speaks with a preconcieved intent. She tries to compare apples to mountains by trying to draw a conclusion to the responses to Katrina and the Haitian earthquake. Her bias is exposed because of the lack of relationship between her assumed conclusions between the two disasters.

I would rather than spouting the kind of rhetoric that has consumed much of the debate, that people could tried to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions. To me, not to have national health care makes as much sense as not putting out a small fire.

Emily/Randomability said...

One of my friends had this facebook status:

Truly saddened at the reactions of some people this week over helping out our fellow members of the human race. Americans send charitable donations all over the world and yet cannot fathom supporting our own simply because the government says we should.

Totally agree. Insurance is mandatory to drive a car... Just sayin'.

Heather said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Lou. As someone who has to deny someone their insurance coverage on a daily basis, it breaks my heart that more people aren't for this. This is a serious problem and Americans need to wake up!

Bama Cheryl said...

I agree. This whole thing is a journey and whatever eventually occurs will not look like what it does right now. I can't believe the violence and spoil sports who are hollering so loudly about this. Wow. Good thing we're a democracy, huh.

And you can't make me leave, no way. :})

Mags said...

My first thought to TX Mama's comment about Bush and Katrina vs Obama and Haiti is this: Katrina happened in our country. It's our homeland. Haiti is not. Perhaps that is why Bush caught such flack. Just my thought.

We have mandatory health insurance in MA and have for about 2 years now I think. It's not a bad thing. At all. Employers give you health insurance now right away instead of waiting 30-90 days like they used to. And when I lost my job, the state picked up my health care right away so I wouldn't get penalized. Of all the things people could worry about with this bill, I am surprised this is what they are focusing on.

Joyce-Anne said...

I agree, it's important to look at the whole picture. However, like Tara, I also am waiting to see how everything plays out.

LceeL said...

Texan Mama: I'd like to see the government fixed, as well. We agree. BUT - Haiti - foreign country, New Orleans - part of the U.S. Not quite the same circumstances.

Zoeyjane: The Heart Break is unending. Only now, we have an opportunity to stop some of it.

Dyfunctional Mom: There's lots about this country that's shameful - this has been but part of it.

Ashlie: I, would LOVE to see more 'respectful disagreement'.

Tara R: Me, too. Continued refinement.

Moneythoughts: What I want to know is - when did 'Socialism' become such a dirty word?

Nan: I hope so.

Jientje: Some people are afraid that someone else will take advantage of the system and freeload.

Hockeymandad: Yes, we can do better.

Carabee: Always, always, always, friends.

Big Mark 243: I agree Mark - But Texan Mama has a right to her opinion - just as you do yours.

Emily: Some of the reactions have saddened me, as well.

Heather: If the Internet is any sign, they're awake now.

Bama Cheryl: It will take time - it took more than 30 years for Social security to round into shape.

Mags: I did not know that MA has Mandatory Health Insurance.

Joyce-Anne: And that may be the smartest approach of all.

Michael said...

LceeL-

Wholeheartedly agree.

Great job.

And to all of you who "don't think the government should run health care."

First of all, I don't agree. I think the government would do a MUCH better job than the people who run it now, which is the CEOs of the health insurance companies. They couldn't do a worse job.

Second of all, that has nothing to do with this bill. This bill DOES NOT GIVE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF HEALTH CARE. I WISH IT DID. BUT IT DOESN'T.

Try reading sometime.

This bill gives the same thieves who run health care now 32 million new customers to rob.

This ISNT GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED HEALTH CARE. I wish it was. But it isn't.

Collette said...

I know I am late with this comment but I had to stop in. I agree with you! Sure it's going to need tweaking but what doesn't? I believe it is our right to have health care so we can all live a healthy life. Why is it that the people who barely have anything are the first ones to give? (((HUGS)))