We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, August 19. 2009
If you like it, feel free to borrow or steal parts or all this email which I am sending (all Senate and House addresses here). It's just my first draft -
To my President, my Senators and my Congressman:
I strongly urge you not to support anything that would, could, or is covertly designed (which has been obvious) to lead to a government-controlled medical system. The idea of a government bureaucracy and government "experts" making decisions about my body is horrifying to me. But if government pays for it, they will have the ultimate control.
Everybody knows that the Dem goal is government rationing and control. Why Dems want that in a country that stands for individual freedom is beyond my comprehension. Furthermore, everybody knows that Pres. Obama is lying in his salesmanship. (If it's such a good thing, why lie?) As Rick Moran puts it:
The reality that Veterinary care in England and Canada is better, prompter, and more caring than human care is a cautionary tale about government control.
There must be a problem when I see a far-Left Liberal like Nat Hentoff getting worried:
The problem is the nationalization of a person's body, ultimately. I want the government's hands off my body and out of my personal life as much as possible. People like Dr. Zeke Emanuel (who does not practice medicine) are the sort of arrogant "We know what's best for you" types that disturb me the most.
Only I know what is best for me and my family. I want to be able to make the choices, to buy whatever insurance I want, to pay medical bills out of pocket if I want the services. And I do not want to see a politicized medical system where the loudest whiners get the money.
Let's step back from the ideological issues (I know the powerful Dems always want more government control of everything and rarely include personal freedom in their political calculus, while Conservatives want government to have less power), and look at the real problems.
The real problems, I think, are these:
1. People equate insurance with medical care. Wrong. That has been an unfortunate accident of history, and it was the fatal error of Medicare. We need much more Major Medical available for people. It is affordable, and it is true insurance.
2. Medical insurance businesses ought to be able to compete across state borders.
3. Portability. People ought to be able to keep a coverage they have.
4. Pre-existing conditions. Insurance regulations ought to require companies to pool those with pre-existing conditions, same as is done with multiple-claim drivers with auto insurance.
5. The costs of the Medicare program. It's almost free to the beneficiaries, regardless of their wealth or poverty. Government created that mess, so fix it, if you can, over time. (I think it should have been means-tested, but too late for that now. How about inching up the age? People in their 60s still work, nowadays. In their 70s too, and plenty of them longer than that.)
6. The uninsured. Let's think a bit about who they are, and what, if anything, ought to be done about them. Medicaid already covers the poor. I know that when I pay a hospital bill it includes a charge for the uninsured, the illegals, etc., just the same as my kids' tuition bill includes an additional charge for the scholarship kids, and just as the price of something at the store includes an additional charge for theft and pilferage. I quote from this essay:
7. Malpractice tort reform. All physicians admit to unnecessary expenses for CYA purposes. Legal concerns rather than medical judgement plays a far larger role in American medicine than people realize.
8. The money spent on medical care in America. I happen to think it's great. We spend more money on medical things because that is what people in wealthy nations do. Dental implants, new knees and hips, physical therapy, psychotherapy, arterial stents, antidepressants, Alzheimer treatments, lazer vision treatment, cornea transplants, etc. That's why Americans at age 70 are so active and in such good shape compared to anywhere else in the world. It's a good thing for medical care to be such a big driver of the economy: what better use of money is there? It only becomes a "problem" when government has to pick up the tab.
In conclusion, I ask that you folks in government please stop doing things "for us." We Americans can figure it out ourselves. We always have, through good times and bad.
PS: If you wish to respond, please do not respond with the standard talking points. I do not buy them.
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Repeating Problem #1 with national health in any guise: it's not a power of the federal government and that should end the discussion. Medicare and Medicaid are highly doubtful; "public option" and "individual mandate" are both anathema to the Constitution.
If we're stuck with Medicare, and a lot of people are, then please remember that Medicare WAS ALREADY MEANS-TESTED. People pay a percentage of wages; more wages, more dollars in. Reimbursements later don't reflect what you put into the system; the doctor who gets $450 to amputate someone's foot due to diabetic problems gets the same amount no matter what that person paid into Medicare.
Bird Dog's key message is second only to the Constitutional point and tied closely to it. We are a nation of citizens, not subjects. Our lives are based on our ownership of ourselves, our work and the fruits of our work. The government is not supposed to be the source of largesse or even charity. It is certainly not supposed to be the source of largesse and guidance that morphs into control.
Great stuff...the only thing I'd add is to fix the legal theft of malpractice claims. I won't support any bill without tort reform as a component.
Agree, good stuff, BD. To my mind the things that really need 'fixing' shouldn't take much more than a page or page an a half to remedy and place into law. Anything more than that is extra added government bureaucracy and control.
While all attention is on the horrible health care plan, HR 2749 just might sneak through without anyone noticing. Go to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/shetlands/message/49581 to find out about it.
There is nothing surprising about Nat Hentoff's position. Hentoff is and has been a Libertarian for as long as I can remember. He is pro-small government and pro-free market. Some conservatives believe he is a lefty because he believes in the entire Bill of Rights, including the First and Fourth Amendments. But that doesn't make him a lefty except in the eyes of conservatives who are ambivalent about the First and Fourth Amendments. Somehow they think that only the Second Amendment really matters.
Eugenics. This evil doctrine can't be killed. Margaret Sanger, Adolf Schikelgruber, Ezekiel Emanuel. I think we should shout EUGENICS! every time these evil snakes open their mouths.
Sheesh - you can't call someone H*t*ler even you're talking about Adolf?
Eugenics. This evil doctrine can't be killed.
Seemingly not. It appears to be intrinsic to modern Western intellectual culture. It is something we always need to watch.
Be careful on this one. What exactly do you mean by a "pre-existing condition?" Do you mean an otherwise healthy 30-year-old who waits until he is diagnosed with cancer to get insurance? Or someone who had leukemia at 12 and is now out of college trying to get coverage?
I am in favor of covering the latter but not the former.
"pre-existing conditions". Be careful is right. Once they can use your genetic blueprint to note that, say, in 60 years you will get breast cancer, watch out. We are just starting this nightmare.
Is obese a pre-existing condition? The obese take up three times more care and money than cancer. How about alcoholics, smokers, grouches, and risk-takers? How about people who own fast motorcycles (organ donors)? Psychopaths and child predators? .......... Not that child predators need a lot of medical care, but their victims do.
Do you have any experience in a single-payer system or, like many Americans, do you speak as if something doesn't exist until it was invented in the US.
I'm a Canadian who lived and worked in the US system - as a designer of medical resource management simulations. I know a lot about how the US hospital systems manage disasters - which is a situation where local hospital resources are overwhelmed.
Your system is a mess. It's infefficient; there are too many competing entities who are focused on making dollars - not providing healthcare. I can tell you stories of the disaster drills I participated in around the Washington DC area.
I left the US to get back to Canadian healthcare. This way, as a capitalist, I can serve my US and Canadian clients, but I have more mobility and freedom without being bogged down by health insurance.
The idea of single-payer healthcare isn't to rule people. It's just to take care of your fellow citizens. It's as simple as that. The same way we provide law enforcement and fire services to our fellow man. Making it into more than that is just a crazy delusion.