Friday, September 11, 2009

Dangerous and Stupid

Watch this video. It has been circulating around FB a little and was originally posted on You Tube. The post won’t make sense if you don’t.

Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance

In a way, this video is been a microcosm of the national debate about health care. This video is the reason people who oppose the public option have been so hysterical (shamefully, I might add). Because Barak Obama and Nancy Pelosi know full well (because they aren’t idiots) that once a public option is in place, it is inevitable that it will eventually dominate the market, creating a de-facto national health care system. Anyone with the most basic understanding of economics would understand this. So I have to assume that any intelligent person, who is for a public option, is ipso-facto in favor of national health care.

First of all, the federal government does NOT pay for or run the Fire Department, Local Police, Water treatment plants or the Post Office. A preposterous over-simplification that immediately calls this idiots credibility into question. The first three are always run and financed by local government. This is a key distinction, as there is a world of difference between the efficiency and functionality of local governments and the federal government. The post office is a semi-autonomous entity that is not taxpayer funded. Did he really not know this? The last thing this debate needs is over-simplification by a left wing douche bag that thinks the fire department is run by the federal government.

And what does this wonderful, government funded fire protection system do for you once the fire is out? Nothing, of course. For that you have homeowner’s insurance provided by an evil corporation. Which you pay for. Where is the call for government-funded homeowner’s insurance?

If you honestly believe that 98 cents of every dollar paid into Medicaid goes to help sick people, I don’t know what to tell you. Whoever this jackass is, he is either grossly misinformed or a bald faced liar. The Medicaid system is rife with fraud and waste, which is also a point stipulated to by all reasonable parties in this debate.

As far as his point about insurance companies trying to protect profit by denying coverage, this is absolutely true and needs to be clamped down on. I fully support legislation that would require any pre-existing conditions or coverage exclusions to be spelled out in advance of contract signing and the formation of panels to serve as independent arbiters of coverage disputes.

Of course, the formation of a low cost public option will force insurance companies to cut costs even further, which will either cause more of these types of coverage denials, or worse, cause the insurance companies to dump all but the most healthy (and wealthy) Americans onto the public plan, which will place an even heavier burden on the taxpayer.

His point that most stockholders of insurance companies “tend to be wealthier people” is unmitigated, stupefying bullshit, and whatever credibility this water head had left goes out the window with this statement. Is that clear enough for you? Insurance company stocks tend to be highly rated, which means they are often owned by union pension plans or 401k’s. You know- school teachers and factory workers and all of those other “wealthy” Americans. What happens to the retirement and pension plans of these people when the public option begins to tear down the insurance industry?

Hospitals, by the way, are also for-profit corporations with stockholders. You know, hospitals- the places that employ all of the angelic doctors you so admire. This is why they over charge and over treat, a point stipulated to by all reasonable parties, to keep their profits up when insurance companies try to squeeze them. When the public option begins to erode their profits, the results will be devastating for level and quality of care.

All of this anti-capitalist, “profit is evil” nonsense is not only un-American, it’s dangerous. America has the finest, most-highly trained doctors in the world and is far and away on the cutting edge of the development of new drugs and technologies for a reason- we let people get rich. In fact, we encourage it. While it’s true that drugs here are much too expensive and are cheaper in Canada, it is also true that if it weren’t for the research and development being done by American Pharmaceutical corporations, Canada would have no drugs to sell. There is no money to made developing new treatments in Canada, thus no R&D.

A government takeover of health care would inevitably lead to caps on compensation and research funding that will fundamentally change the quality of life in this country and lower our expectations to the point where in a generation or two we’ll be writing articles about how happy we are with our health care system despite the fact that our loved ones died of cancer sitting at home waiting for treatment.

Spall's mother died of kidney cancer while waiting for treatment, but she said she is still a supporter of the NHS. "There are failings in the system but I'm not anti-NHS at all," she said, praising Britain's commitment to universal coverage.
AP 8/14/09

Gallup, ABC News and other well-respected polls consistently show that 80 to 85 percent of Americans are happy with their health care. Didn’t this used to be a democracy?

A Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,001 adults in June that found that 83 percent were either "somewhat" or "very" satisfied with the care they receive and 81 percent felt the same way about their insurance.”
-Washington Post, 7/28/09