December 29

the socialized healthcare FAQ

The following is an assortment of Q&A’s on socialized healthcare in the United States, many of them reproduced from a discussion on Healthcare Reform at an online forum I frequent. The “A’s” are my answers to the posed “Q’s”.

What are some other names for socialized healthcare?

some aliases are: universal healthcare, government healthcare, public healthcare, free healthcare, subsidized healthcare, national healthcare, single payer healthcare, socialized medicine, public option.

Socialized healthcare is no more stealing than paying taxes for education when you or your children are not attending school, paying taxes for the fire department when your house isn’t burning down, or paying taxes for the police when you live in a gated community.

you’re absolutely right – all of these services are somewhat socialized, and under the Constitution, none of them should be federally taxpayer-funded. but justifying the socialization of one industry because of the existing socialization of other industries is not an acceptable solution – we should instead force those other industries back to their proper place under the Constitution!
as an aside, in an ideal voluntary society, you would not even be required to pay for fire/police, since requiring anyone to give their money to someone else necessitates the use of force and therefore violence.

Are you saying that education shouldn’t be taxpayer funded? I’d love to see how things would be without any schools at all.

correct. but just because something is not taxpayer funded doesn’t mean that it no longer exists. the US education system has been in the pits for decades, because it’s State-run.

instead of taking your money and putting it into whatever schools they want, why not give you your choice! that’s right, you could pay for school A, B, C, or none!

I don’t understand the problem with State-run programs like the USPS. All I know is when I drop a letter into the mail, it somehow arrives across the entire country in like three days.

if the USPS were the answer to the mail question, why would companies like DHL and FedEx still exist?

The fact is, you’re already paying for people who don’t have healthcare. If someone has welfare-insurance, they’re getting it from the taxpayers; if a bum walks in and can’t afford anything (he can’t be refused medical treatment), their expense is passed onto the taxpayers. Socialized healthcare requires you to enroll in some kind of healthcare program (or be taxed 2.5% of your income). By doing this, there will be less uninsured individuals coming in passing their debt that they can’t pay to the taxpayers as well as adding the profit that private insurance companies would be making into the pool of money to cover it.

yes, we are already paying for welfare, medicaid, etc. how well has the State run those programs? they are already responsible for over 2/3 of our debt and they suck. the new socialized healthcare plan is just medicare on crack. expenditures on entitlement programs are already growing much faster than the economy overall, especially right now.

“Socialized healthcare requires you to enroll”… WHY? not only is it NOT your right to have healthcare, it IS your right NOT TO have healthcare! you are supposed to have every right provided it does not infringe on someone else.

and where do you think the money to pay for these uninsured individuals will come from? the State does not magically create money (in fact it does not create ANY wealth AT ALL – the only “money” it “creates” is what it prints). also, if you think socialized healthcare is going to create a profit.. you are very wrong my friend.

People should not have to worry about destroying their credit scores and declaring bankruptcy or alternatively submitting a majority of their income for the rest of their life when they have a serious medical issue because they can’t afford healthcare. Health should be a right for every citizen; they should not have to weigh their options.

YES THEY SHOULD. the ONLY phrase that should end “People should not have to worry about ” is “the government”. everything else is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOT MINE. saying “health should be a right” is an inaccurate posit. what you’re actually saying is “healthcare should be a right”, and no, it should not be, and it isn’t. people should always have to weigh their options instead of thinking the State will fix everything, because it won’t.

question: should access to food be a right? shelter? a dentist? television? (while the latter seems silly, guess who’s paying for all those analog-to-digital required mandates.)

the truth is, you have NO rights which would be gained by infringing on MY (or anyone else’s) property.

Canada should be looked at as the perfect example of a proper healthcare system.

then why do people from every country still want to come to America when they need a good doctor?

The trial lawyers are suing these private insurance companies for not paying what they should be paying for. Would socialized healthcare not eliminate the need for this?

if we get the State to do everything, it would theoretically eliminate the need for everything, right?

The fact of the matter is, the system is broke and something needs to be done. When my coverage is going up over 10% every year, that’s a problem, and when more and more people are not insured, that’s a problem as well.

actually, we are in this mess because of regulations on the current system. just one small example.. hospitals HAVE TO treat illegal immigrants regardless of whether or not they are insured or can/will pay. THAT is the drain on our system. here’s a crazy thought: how about a true free market healthcare system?

I love how people think that healthcare isn’t a right. You won’t be saying that when you get sick and need coverage and can’t afford it. I’d love to see if you refuse coverage when that happens. Everyone should be covered one way or another, period. Or have at least have access to some kind of affordable plan. People can’t always control what is going to happen.

If the government isn’t going to get involved with healthcare, then they should at least put some regulations on the current system.

actually, I probably will have coverage then, because like a responsible money manager I pay for it now, before I have any pre-existing conditions. truth be told, I would rather spend that money on a Mercedes right now and be on the taxpayer hook later – most everyone would – but that’s not right.

again, NO ONE has ANY right to MY money but ME.

Not everyone has the option of corporation / employer funded healthcare benefits. A huge amount of Americans are just outside of the income limit and don’t get state aid. They can’t afford to spend another month’s rent to buy a healthcare plan for their families every month. So what happens? They bring their kids in anyways, what else can they do? They rack up huge bills that get passed on to others through increased premiums, taxes, etc. as well as ruining that person’s credit score and any savings they might have laying around anywhere.

Why should someone get screwed because they’re in an income bracket between being able to afford healthcare and receiving healthcare from the government? It doesn’t make sense. We’re penalizing anyone trying to make it off government aid.

the honest truth is that they should not be allowed to rack up those bills for themselves or their kids or whoever. they can go to charities, churches, family for the money. but hospitals should not be mandated to provide aid to anybody at a loss. besides, the bills get passed on to taxpayers right now, how do you think socialized healthcare will be paid for?

the whole concept of forcing one person to pay for another person goes back to power. in the simplest form, one person goes to a group of poor people and says “follow me and we’ll take the smaller rich group’s money by force!”. this is all about State power.

The fact that ‘The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system’ is quite telling. It’s very easy for people who have been put in a good socioeconomic situation to assume that their condition extends to everyone. It comes down to what we believe as a people and a nation about the human condition, really. If you talk about immigrants that are unable to pay being a drain on our medical system, then ok, you need to address the immigration issue maybe, but to turn on these people and just let them die is something that as civilized people I just don’t think we can do. Furthermore, as a taxpayer I am completely happy with paying an amount commensurate to my economic position to create this system. The value of human life (all human life) is worth it being well protected. I’m willing to pay to extend that to everyone, myself included, where it’s a scary thought in the current climate to lose your job (and thus health care, or the ability to pay for it). If you aren’t willing to pay…then I don’t know.

a more important statement is ‘The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system AND IT IS STILL THE BEST SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, WHERE EVERYONE WANTS TO BE TREATED FOR THEIR ILLNESSES’. take a look at Massachusetts’ health care. not good.

sure, some people that don’t support socialized healthcare are in a better socioeconomic situation than others. but many of them are not rich, have had nothing handed to them, have worked hard for everything they have, and see the value in that.

you may be completely happy to let the State take your money and give it to other people, but you should not expect others to. it is clear that you care about the poor, and enjoy helping them with your money. but why do you enjoy the State forcing you to do it? if they didn’t, would you still be glad to help? if so, then that’s how the poor would be taken care of. and if not, then why are you asking the question?

I don’t support ideas such as “don’t make hospitals cover people if it’s at a loss”. It’s time to get over the ideology and see what’s right and wrong. Leaving people to just rot after working their whole life just because they can’t afford coverage is not right. Denying someone care when they are sick because they don’t have coverage isn’t right. And what about mentally or physically handicapped people?

what do you currently do to help mentally or physically handicapped people?

and, to put it simply, imagine you are a doctor. imagine half of your patients are people who can’t/won’t pay. what would you do?

Why is it that whenever people want to seriously help the poor of this nation, they always bring up the “I don’t want you taking my money for something I don’t agree with” idea, but when someone says “I don’t want you taking my money for this war in Iraq”, their position is reversed.

fair point, and I agree. however, war taxes are Constitutional – socialized healthcare isn’t.

You can choose to opt out of any healthcare program, but you will be tacked 2.5% of your income. This is to prevent people from opting out of any form of healthcare, going to the hospital, and passing on their debt without paying a dime by declaring bankruptcy. In rare cases will someone never go to the hospital.

let’s say you have no or negligible (official) income, and you opt out of healthcare (ex: illegal aliens). what happens?

how should the basic needs for anyone that can’t afford them be provided? who pays for them?

We should try our best to follow the Constitution, but when corporations are starting to (or rather have been) owning / influencing our government with their own interests in mind, reform is needed. The forefathers that created the Constitution knew that it wouldn’t be perfect and withstand the test of time, which is why they allowed for a system of amendments in the first place.

the Constitution is not a living document, it has a living appendix. when corporations own government, the answer is not to socialize their industries. the answer is to reform government! vote in honest individuals like Ron Paul and Peter Schiff, Dennis Kucinich, Alan Grayson, people who aren’t bought and paid for. how people like Pelosi, Frank, Waxman are still in office is hard to grasp, but when the incumbency rate is so high how is it hard to fathom such corruption?

There are many things none of us wants to pay for in the U.S., and some of this probably comes down to a fundamental difference in beliefs, beit a system where certain things are taken care of via taxes, or an absolute free market system. Anyone that believes in an absolute free market is either A) fooling themselves into thinking that everything will just sort itself out for the better or B) just doesn’t care about where anyone else is. The bottom line is that, well, life happens. Good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. What our Democracy seems to intend to do is negate the random bad things. There are many things that I pay for with my taxes that I have absolutely no desire to pay for, but there are plenty of things that get paid for via other peoples’ taxes that I’m extremely grateful for. So how do some people take a sort of anti-amoebic view of things – they see what they give up, but not what they get (or have gotten) in return. And of all of the things people could be upset about paying for, is healthcare for every American really the worst one to be focusing on?

I agree that there is a fundamental difference in beliefs. many people call the US a Democracy, but we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic. a Republic is intended to negate the mob rule, progressive ideology by giving an individual absolute rights to his own property, no matter how many other people want to take it. that means that the State should never take the side of the majority over the individual just because it will ease or please the majority.

your assertions about people who believe in a free market are incorrect. I have a fundamental belief that I have the right to keep what I have earned, and that I should be free to contract with others without the State’s intervention. that is freedom, and it should not be given up for comfort.

the reason people fight socialized healthcare is because although free healthcare for all sounds great, that’s not what it is. it will wreck the US healthcare system just like other systems where care is rationed and people wait in ER lines for days.

Yes, there are systems where care is rationed that suffer, but there are also systems which do very well. That’s the issue with most of the negative talk on some of the TV stations as well – quick to point out the bad, forget about the good.

It’s not a matter of “taking people’s money”. It’s not stealing because you’ve lived in a “Republic” where you have the opportunity to leave and go somewhere else where someone doesn’t “take people’s money”. You’ve grown up here, and thus have the luxury of perspective. So you can choose to not stay. If you stay, and the State taxes you, no one is “taking” your money – you’re willfully staying in a Republic that you’ve known since you were born was setup this way.

So I hate the statement “I don’t want people taking the money that I earned.” Fine, then get out of here. See how that goes for you elsewhere. Make way for someone that is willing to part with some of their paycheck to better the community as opposed to just themselves.

but you have got it backwards. anti-socialized healthcare-ists are not the ones trying to change the system from the way it’s been for (most of) the last 200+ years, and from capitalist/free market/republican to socialist/government/democratic.

of course I have the opportunity to leave. so do you. if you want socialized healthcare, go to one of the many countries that offer it. but don’t tell me to leave because I enjoy capitalism (well, the last bastions we have left of it) and tell me I’m somehow wrong for feeling that way.

last point, if you enjoy giving your money to others, you would still be free to do so in a free market system. you don’t need the State to force you to do so.

(In theory) Obama is trying to provide insurance for people without it. (In theory) those who are happy with their insurance (or can afford better) wouldn’t have to use the government’s plan. So if Perriello and Obama honestly believe that the plan is going to work the way they say it will why would they agree to use the new system?

in theory, that’s true. but that’s not what they’re doing. their plans will affect everyone – if not instantly, pretty soon. here is a quote that puts it the same way I would:
“…the government will always create legislation favoring its own government plan, putting it at a competitive advantage over private sector plans, eventually running them out of business. Even Obama and his advisers have said they want a single-payer (ie. government-run, no private insurance) health care system — it will just take a few years to get there.”

So you’re going to call the forced help of the needy ‘stealing’?

yes, unless you can explain to me how the government taking my money, at the penalty of imprisonment and/or death, is not stealing.

in Obama’s speech on his new healthcare reform plan, he claimed “I will make it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.” Isn’t that a good thing?

insane! this, coupled with his other stipulation that he will fine insurance companies who “charge too much”, will bankrupt the healthcare industry before morning. weird, sounds like an alternate means to the same end Obama and the ultra-“progressives” have been pushing for years.

everyone gets healthcare at whatever cost the State decides. oh I almost forgot, this won’t add to the deficit. sounds great, and if you really believe this will work, I’ve got some swampland…

It should be against the law to charge such high health insurance rates!

if the cost of care is more than the monthly insurance rate, is the payee not benefiting from their contract with the insurance company? if it is not, doesn’t the payee have the option to cancel that contract? should one person (or business) be forced to operate at a loss in order to ease another person’s life in some way? what would be the outcome of such a circumstance? who is John Galt? these are the types of questions that need to be considered.

You said the idea that insurance companies denying coverage to people with a pre-existing condition is insane? Do you mean the concept, or how they would implement this, because if you are talking about the concept how could you NOT want that?

the concept, I guess it’s a nice idea though to even consider it is illogical, because along with the concept goes the implementation. it’s like a concept of giving everyone a million dollars, sure, you could do it, and it sounds nice, but it’s completely illogical.

The Government isn’t necessarily supposed to provide ‘gold care’, but you are entitled to at the very least ‘bronze care’.

entitled? by whom? and who is required to pay out of their pocket for your expenses of any sort?

let’s put a different spin on this. imagine you are the only person on this earth. what are you entitled to? life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. nothing else. healthcare is not a right (something you are inherently born into this world with – “endowed with”) just as no other service or product provided by another person can you be entitled to.

now imagine there is one other person on the earth with you, and they are a doctor. and imagine you are sick, and they have the medicine to treat you. is it your right for them to treat you for free? of course not! but if you can provide them with something of value in exchange for their service, then the exchange is probably in both of your best interests. this is the essence of the free markets (not trying to patronize anyone, just clearly delineating my principle), and this is why forced socialism (in any way) does not work.

now, the Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to enumerate some of the types of things that are rights – that is, they are implied by the rights of life, liberty, or the ownership of property. all of these rights they listed do NOT infringe on the rights of others.

there are multiple reasons that national socialized healthcare is un-Constitutional. 1: it infringes on my right to my own property (because it gives you a “right” to my property). 2: it is expressly denied by the Tenth Amendment, which states that ANY powers not delegated to the fedgov are granted to the States. does this mean that state socialized healthcare is Constitutional? sure!… maybe. it would depend whether the Courts decided that the Tenth Amendment overruled an individual’s right to his own property. you can guess which side I’d take.

if people wish to argue that the Constitution should be ignored, then we have no basic legal grounds on which to argue, and can only discuss this at a philosophical level. but if that’s the case, people should clearly state that, because as I understand it we are supposed to be debating this based on Constitutionality.

one last thing: the whole idea of healthcare “co-ops” really makes a lot of sense to me. but keep the fedgov out of it! it’s really a pretty simple idea: get a bunch of people together, agree to pay a certain monthly price, and when someone needs it, pay out of the pool. it’s a socialistic principle, sure, but it’s voluntary, not forced, and that’s why it fits the idea of our Republic.

I believe healthcare is included in the LIFE part of “life, liberty, etc.”

your only rights are to that which either God gave you from conception (your body), or you have earned and have property rights to.

First, just because you get health care when you absolutely have to have it, doesn’t mean you’re always getting health care when you need it. You can and will be turned away if you’re looking for anything even remotely preventative or something decently easy to treat…why? Because, rightfully so, they have better things to take care of. And they are within their legal rights to do so. There are clinics to take care of smaller things. Hospitals are only legally required to take you in if you need serious medical attention. And by the way the cost of those people automatically being treated comes back to you in a much larger way than it would with either of the bills out there presently.

so hospitals are currently turning away people because there’s too much demand and not enough supply.. what’s going to happen when that demand increases as a result of the influx of new socialized/public option healthcare patients? if they are going to bring in a bunch of new patients, they better at least solve the supply problem first – this is where a lot of the concerns about rationed care come in (as you said, it’s already rationed to an extent).

also, that is not a health insurance problem, but a health provider problem. insurance companies can never deny you coverage, they can only refuse to pay for it.

as for the cost of required care that falls on us being lower with the plans in the bills, how is that possible? either we pay for it upfront or we pay for it backdoor through subsidies. it still costs the same either way.

Shouldn’t you be happy that more Doctors would be needed? It’d create a large demand for people in high paying jobs. That’s a boost to the economy if I’ve ever heard one.

Health care costing less equals not only costing less to the consumer, but also costs less to the government – and that equals savings that can be used to pay for the other portions of the bill. It’s a fairly simple concept. It’s just a matter of whether or not it will work, but even if it doesn’t it’s costing us just about as much over the next 10 years as increases in Medicare costs would if we didn’t do something.

it’s not a problem that more doctors would be needed.. the problem is that those doctors already aren’t there.

of course cheaper healthcare is cheaper for the consumer AND the State, but you’re making the presupposition that making me pay for somebody else’s healthcare directly is somehow going to save me more money than making me pay for somebody else’s healthcare indirectly, which simply doesn’t make sense.

We should tighten up and put more restrictions on food laws. And to those of you who say “I don’t want the government telling me what to eat or how I should spend my free time.” Sorry, the government has already had a huge hand in creating the environment that makes choosing unhealthy food and being lazy so easy. We should make choosing healthy food and being more active easier and just as incorporated in daily life as the unhealthy lifestyle so many Americans participate in today.

yes, they have had a part in making the environment the way it is today. but how does that lend to giving them more power to regulate what’s on the marketplace? they have already proven over and over again that they are incompetent on that scale.

then you have the “fat tax” idea that’s been floating around recently. this is absolutely an infringement on my rights, as well. I should be able to go eat poison, if I want, and I should be able to buy it off the shelves somewhere as long as it’s clearly marked (the clearly marked thing is one area your idea could definitely be implemented/improved – foods that are proven to increase illnesses could be forced to be “marked” somehow, this would certainly impact buying behavior). the thing is, people who do NOT engage in these unhealthy eating behaviors should NOT have to pay the same rates as people who do. but how do you know who’s who?

one thing they could do is promote some sort of reduced rate for people who get regular checkups or can somehow prove that they live a healthy lifestyle (own gym memberships where they get a “receipt” of sorts every time they run on the treadmill, spend X dollars/year at “healthy” grocery stores, tax breaks for buying gym equipment, etc).

all these things are outside the bounds of the State anyways, but trying to think within the system, there are some options.

I don’t think you know what “theft” means….

In fact. Legislative “theft” is somewhat of a contradiction of terms. The people of the U.S. elected these people. Everyone ostensibly knew (or should have known) what they were voting for. If they didn’t, it’s their fault, not the legislators’.

There are plenty of other examples of “wealth distribution” already in place. No, you don’t have to like it, but it’s not theft. You can make it out to be something ridiculous like theft, but the country voted for these people….maybe not you, but the majority of others did. I don’t look at the Iraq War as theft, despite the fact that I disagreed with it massively. That’s just stupid.

if it forcibly takes from one what is rightfully theirs, yes, it is theft. when the State does it we give it this euphemism “tax”, but it’s actually worse because you can’t defend yourself against the State.

it doesn’t matter if every person in the country votes to take away the rights of one person, that minority is to have certain unalienable rights. these rights are no longer being recognized. that is the difference in “democracy” vs republic, tyranny (of the majority) vs freedom, socialism vs capitalism.

But where do you draw the line? Should you personally be able to choose which taxes you pay and which you don’t? So you don’t support this health care bill and consider it theft … yet you (or someone else may) support defense spending and are okay with your tax dollars funding the CIA and our armed forces, so that’s not theft. Where’s the distinction? Where’s the line? Who gets to decide?

The point is any program is going to have people who are happy about it (those who benefit from it) and those who are unhappy about it (those who do not directly benefit from it). There’s no way to please everybody. Tax cuts for the rich during the Bush administration ticked off poor people but made rich people giddy. Bush’s absolute raping of the EPA and any environmental protection laws made his good buddies in the oil industry LOVE him and the scientific and environmental communities despise him … congress’s health care bill isn’t going to please everyone. But that does not constitute theft. It constitutes government.

under the Constitution, our taxes are supposed to pay for a government that provides a military defense and a justice system. other than that, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. so it’s not a personal choice of mine, it’s written in the primary law that’s supposed to put chains on what our Congress can and cannot do.

Well, my friend, then you need to go live in a country that doesn’t tax, because that’s way it’s been since the framers. Even they believed in taxation, they just wanted representation. It’s not theft with you choosing to live in this country.

if you can name me a country that doesn’t tax (you can’t, it’s a contradiction in terms), I would certainly consider living there!

original taxes in the US were to be levied on ALL citizens equally. not some more than others, and some none at all. and the “benefits” of the taxation were not to benefit some more than others, and some none at all. that’s what “to promote the general welfare” meant – to help everyone. and there were only two functions which they believed served that purpose – military and justice – and I agree with them.

nobody handed me a ballot card when I came out of the womb and asked me to select which set of people I wanted to tax and rule me, so no, I didn’t choose to live in this country. but I do thank God I was born here, it’s the best one of I know yet.

A government option isn’t socialistic, nor is it a step towards socialism. Socialization of healthcare would involve government financing and direct provision of health care services, which it won’t / doesn’t. Distribution of wealth / property does not describe Socialism, although it is a characteristic.

yes, it definitely is. it’s distribution of wealth/property. it doesn’t involve government financing? I don’t know why I was in such an uproar then! I thought it was going to be funded by my taxes!

there’s no government provision of health care services? so the services will, without any funding or direction, magically find their way to the necessary citizens? sweet! that is definitely a good plan.

By provision of healthcare services I meant government-controlled hospitals and medical work areas (the actual services being preformed there). Don’t we choose what hospitals / physicians we see?

I’m not sure how you make the distinction between direct government-provided services, and government-funded services. for example, you say that it would only be socialist if the government directly provided the services, but what if their supplies were manufactured by private sources? does that make it not socialism? and if so, how far down the rabbit hole do you have to go to admit that it’s socialism. does the government have to fund or perform the primary services of mining or harvesting the materials to make it socialism? my point is, it doesn’t matter who “technically” performs the services. if they are performed with funds forcibly taken from the populace and the “benefit” is not directly returned to that person, it is socialism.

yes, socialism embodies more than healthcare, but socialized (or “universal”) healthcare is a socialist tenet/agenda. socialized healthcare is even one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. communism and socialism are not exactly the same thing but I think the point is clear.

isn’t “no pre-existing conditions” a good thing?

I’m actually pretty happy about it. now, with the “no pre-existing conditions” stipulations, I don’t have to buy healthcare until I actually need it! I only have to pay a $750 annual “penalty” until something happens to me – then, I just have to pay the same monthly amount as everyone else! I don’t know where the money to cover my catastrophic injuries is going to come from, though, since everyone else will probably do this too and there won’t be nearly enough money in the pool. I guess I’m hoping that instead of shutting down their businesses, the health insurance companies will just reach into those deep pockets and turn into charities!

Where do you think the money comes from now for all the people who don’t want to buy healthcare and wait until a catastrophic ailment to go to the hospital? When these people don’t pay their medical bills, and the majority don’t, the money comes out of medicaid and medicare. The fact is that Medicaid will be completely broke by 2012 under this current system. At least now $750 a year from anyone not wanting to buy insurance will be given back to the system.

so this bill is a good thing because it will supposedly help the ailing medicare/aid? you make the presupposition that a bandaid is a good solution to the tumor that is medicare. but everyone knows that you don’t try to patch a tumor – you remove it.

I don’t understand how so many people seem to take as common knowledge this idea that medicare is a necessity, and that it just needs to be “fixed”. same goes for the notion that we have to figure out some way to pay for people that are treated without fronting the bill, without addressing the underlying premise that hospitals are for some reason expected to render service without proof of payment – or that we the taxpayers should be accountable for a so-called “private” entity’s unpaid liabilities, instead of those debts being handled in court where they belong.

OR the fact that our US government should have no hand in “figuring out” our healthcare system in the first place… then again, they’re now talking about legislating the BCS format. ludicrous.

But when you call 911 for immediate health care, are you talking to the government or to a private enterprise? Are you sure you don’t trust the government to save your life?

I hope that they will save my life (since that’s what I’m paying them for), but I don’t trust them to. I would much rather there exist a private emergency response enterprise where competition could exist.

But… outlawing pre-existing conditions as a reason for denial of coverage is a good thing for everybody!

seriously? sooo did you not notice all of the above points about how this is HORRIBLE for everyone? cut out the never-ending cycle of emotional, illogical assertions that theoretically sound warm & fuzzy but don’t hold water.

I have a back problem; I crushed a lumbar vertebra and ruptured a disc playing football in 9th grade, and I’ve had recurring problems with it over the years. the insurance company came back and told me that due to my back’s injury history they could not insure any back injuries or problems. now while that sucks for me and I really hate it, are you telling me that it’s only “fair” that they can’t make such an exception, and that it would be “fair” if I immediately opted for a surgery that cost tens of thousands of dollars once I was on their plan?

The State is trying to bankrupt the insurance company? The insurance companies spent billions in lobbying for this bill, do you think they’re not going to see a return on that money?

yes, they lobbied for certain parts, but it’s doubtful that they lobbied for it in its current form. are you trying to tell me they lobbied for themselves not to be able to make judgments based on pre-existing conditions?

If you are asking me to pay for your insurance, I get to look at your budget. What kind of car do you drive? Your cell plan? Computer? How much do you spend on entertainment in a month?

If you are asking me to pay more for these luxuries, you better not be able to pay for it on your own.

I don’t want to ask for the above proof, but I also don’t want to pay for what you should be doing for yourselves (whomever “you” means is based upon who wants me to pay).

great point. what a great way for the State to increase their ability to keep tabs on us. the United Nanny States!

Category: healthcare, politics | Comments Off on the socialized healthcare FAQ
October 4

in response to a statist, on healthcare

the following is a copy of comments left on my YouTube video socialized healthcare implications, reality, and solutions – first by another user, then my response. after I posted my response 2 weeks ago, he went back and removed a number of his comments (many of them pertaining to a misguided allegory between car insurance and health insurance), but here’s what remained.

Youre very fortunate not to have experienced the worse of the health care industry, but thats the problem. While many have found themselves in situations where they developed an illness while insured (by lets say their job) then lose that coverage (lets say they were laid off or moved), now they run the risk of being denied treatment or even coverage because they couldnt stay with their old provider. Not enough of you have had this experience, but if and when you do, youll be happy know that theres an indiscriminate insurance provider that will offer you coverage even if youve had cancer before. The Government. May I suggest that you read up on Mr. Lee Einer and what he was hired by health insurance companies to do.

the problem I have with your logic is that it takes all responsibility away from the courts. if the contract between the individual and the insurance company stated that the insurance could be terminated due to such a circumstance, the individual should have taken the responsibility of a) being informed and b) meeting any preexisting stipulations so this situation could not lawfully arise. now, if the courts do not lawfully enforce the contract, then they are at fault, and the problem is not with the healthcare system but with the inability of the insurance companies to be held accountable to the individual. if on the other hand the courts DO uphold the contracts, then the fault is on the individual for not fully understanding the contract they willfully signed. creating a government safety net serves only to accelerate the latter circumstance, as well as to rob people of their property. a co-op plan would make the most sense to me, however, NOT a state-run one. people should be free to voluntarily enter any co-op (across state lines) and do business with any insurance companies they please. the state does not need to be involved in order for this to be effective (quite the opposite in fact), there are numerous non-public nonprofits. this is why the answer is not MORE government, but less. we have not seen a truly free market in a century or two, but if we returned to one, costs would have no choice but to return to normal levels (this is why insurance companies lobby for MORE regulations – more taxpayer money for them). I have read the article on Lee Einer before, and certainly, corporate corruption is despicable – I am no “fan” of corporations per se. let me remind you that any individual is free to start their own insurance company should the existing options not fulfill the needs of the public (ah, capitalism), AND, no individual is forced into any contract with any insurance company (YET). let me also remind you that your solution is to take power from one group of greedy men and give it to another group of (not greedy?) politicians. I would like to return fire a suggestion to read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins, if you have not already. it is a brilliant example of how we must never rely on corporations nor government, as both are ruled by greedy, powerful, and corrupt men. the responsibility of the individual is infinitely more important than the responsibility of the state. this is key to the health of our Republic.

Category: healthcare, politics | Comments Off on in response to a statist, on healthcare
August 19

Health Care: Right or Privilege?

the following is a letter of opinion written by my father today in response to a letter of opinion in the local paper: Is universal health care a right or a privilege for Americans?

I read with interest the letter from Mr. John Murphy of Franklin, and would like to share some thoughts on this subject. On many of the points raised, Mr. Murphy and I would agree: the populace is very anxious and untrusting of our government, and rightly so. It does seem that our country has been slowly strolling toward Socialism for decades, and now we are at a full sprint. Policies that would have been unthinkable to our founding fathers have been slowly but surely by small increments passed into law, and today the concepts of individualism have given way to a victim mentality, where even those who know and understand the history of our country, as well as the history of Socialism, have a sense that it is permissible to take “from each according to his ability” and give the product of his time and effort “to each according to his need”.

Our Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This indicates that rights are given by our Creator, not by our governing officials. If our representatives are elected by us, and are conceptually our paid employees, then how on earth does it fall to them to “allow” us to have certain rights or not, as they might deem appropriate? How are we to know what the “unalienable rights” are? I would submit that they include but are definitely not limited to things like the right to bear and raise children, own property, eat as we please, and worship God. Does this sound ridiculous? Are there countries where these rights are suppressed by governments? Absolutely! Which countries are these? Countries ruled by Socialism, Fascism, and Communism. Given to men by the Creator, these rights still exist in those countries, but are suppressed, and acting on those rights is punishable.

As Americans we also have specific rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, including the rights to free speech, to keep and bear arms, to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, and to trial by jury, among others. Note that the Ninth Amendment mentions other rights “retained by the people”. While these rights are intentionally not specified, they are generally assumed to include such ideas as the right to travel, and the right to presumption of innocence, and similar ideas that seem to fit in well with the “unalienable rights” discussed above.

How then is a privilege defined? “A special advantage, immunity, or benefit not enjoyed by all, or that may be enjoyed only under special conditions.” Who determines societal privileges? We, the people do this, en masse, by setting up powers and authorities who we hope will represent our best interests as a group, in other words, government. As they should, governing bodies grant privileges to law-abiding citizens, and deny privileges (and even some rights) to those who are found by their peers not to have conformed to our laws. The privilege of driving a vehicle can be restricted by a finding of unlawful behavior. Nationally, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. The worst offenders among us may even be denied the right to Life by our penal system, and many would agree that our government has an obligation to the law-abiding to deny some privileges and some rights to some who violate our laws. So, privileges are granted by the people to the people.

Where does health care fall in this continuum? It does not enter this arena at all, whatsoever. Why? Because the health care industry is just that, an industry, comprised of thousands of independent businesses, large and small. Does your neighbor have the authority to force you to give to him the property which you own? Absolutely not. Does the government have the authority to force any private business, owned by people like ourselves, to now operate in a way dictated by another who has no ownership of that business? Absolutely not, and if you disagree, please show me the Constitutional article, section, or amendment from which that authority derives. Health care is neither a right nor a privilege, but a commodity which is able to be purchased from a business entity, in the same way that one would purchase a loaf of bread or an automobile. What gives our government the authority to dictate to the seller of bread to whom he must sell and for what price? If we can’t afford the bread, we can make our own bread, but we can’t ask the government to force the baker to give us the bread! Like it or not, health care is exactly identical. If we can’t afford it (or just don’t care to buy it!), then we go without it, just as we would do without anything else we can’t afford. There are faith-based organizations and benevolent charities who can and will help those who need care, and if the people of this country were not so incredibly overtaxed, we would have more disposable income with which to help our own family members and to give to those charities as well.

I could continue indefinitely, but I believe that this is where we should begin. Primarily and immediately, keep the government out of our business and our businesses, including health care. Get them out of the businesses they’re already in which can be done by private enterprise. Lower our taxes so we the people can help our families and friends in need. Anytime the government, on any level, attempts to pass a bill into law, require a reference to the Constitutional article or amendment which would give them the authority to pass that bill into law. Finally, free enterprise and the capitalistic system always work to provide the best product for the best price, anytime and anywhere, without exception, when that system is allowed to operate free of government intervention, and especially so when done under the influence of Christian Scriptural principles. These facts are what made our country the strongest and most vibrant economy in the world in an amazingly short span of time. If we continue to walk away from these ideals, there is no doubt but that our freedoms and liberties, as well as our rights and privileges, will soon be nonexistent.

Yours truly,

Tom Fretts

July 22

socialized healthcare – implications, reality, and solutions

in President Obama’s latest weekly address, he basically claims that insurance companies are not standing up to their end of the deal and paying for certain medicines/surgeries/care that they are obligated to. I contend that, if this is the case, why not hold them liable in court, as we do in every other sector? for example, if a dealer sells me a new car that breaks the next day, and they don’t uphold the warranty, should I expect the government to fix it for free? no, I would take the company to court so that they must uphold their contract. the health industry should be no different. it’s important to note that the courts must actually impel the company to fulfill their obligation – companies breaking the law should be fined accordingly until it either bankrupts them or they start behaving. if the courts do not do this, the onus is on them, and they must be reformed – but it should not lead us to lean on The State to fill the gap.

on the other hand, if the reason that insurance companies don’t pay for certain medicines/surgeries/etc is that they are NOT obligated to, then they are running their business as they should – just as a car insurance company would not be contractually obligated to pay for a home that was destroyed. therefore, the individual is responsible for knowing what their insurance plan does and does not cover, and then deciding whether they wish to continue paying for that plan.

now, since I suspect that many times the reason insurance companies don’t pay for certain things is because they are NOT obligated to, socialized (single payer) healthcare does an interesting thing – it passes that obligation on to you, me, and other taxpayers. it comes to your house and says, “hey Calen – this man needs care he can’t afford – so you’re going to pay for it. that’s right, cough up the money! what’s that? you don’t want to pay for him? how’s prison sound! what’s that? you don’t want to go to prison? BANG. YOU’RE DEAD.”

of course that sounds dramatic, but in a nutshell, that’s how it actually works. my point is this: accountability and responsibility should be on the individual needing care (or their family if need be, or charities, or the Church), but not on The State, which is really just the rest of the taxpaying People. one citizen should never feel entitled to another citizen’s property, and when you look at socialized healthcare (and Medicare/Medicaid) in a cut and dry sense, that’s exactly what you have.

a lot of people argue that hey, many people have a pre-existing condition and can’t get health insurance now. we can equate this to buying a car and driving it around uninsured for a few years. finally you get in an accident, and you’re stuck with the bill. you could try to get insurance on the car at this point, but good luck finding a company to take you up on that! insurance is not supposed to be this thing that people run to when they need healthcare and it magically hands out medicine to them. it is a hedge against your odds of eventually needing it – you pay in when you’re healthy and it pays out when you’re sick.

now, the only logical way to afford socialized healthcare is to tax the People (or borrow and increase the debt, or print money, both of which are hidden taxes). neither of these is desired, or, at this point, affordable. the solution is to keep The State’s hands totally off of the healthcare industry (other than to enforce contracts, as stated above). when this happens, the People who are for using their taxes to help the poor can instead donate the couple hundred dollars to a charity (or individual) of their choice, if they so choose. in this way, we put accountability and responsibility on the People (where it belongs), we preserve choice, and we endorse freedom of contract, the strongest base of a free Republic.

If you protect a man from folly, you will soon have a nation of fools.

– William Penn