Comments on: So What Is a "Basic Human Right"? Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:43:54 +0000 hourly 1 By: Doug Payton Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:43:54 +0000 I’m not really thrilled with the article in general. First of all, it speaks in so many vague generalities, such as this:

In a country that prides itself on providing equal opportunities for all, it’s a shock to find that almost 50 million Americans are without any type of healthcare. Yet that doesn’t stop them from making undue demands, according to Professor Reinhardt.

“Americans do imagine themselves to have an enormous range of rights,” he said, “but at the same time they are skimpy on responsibility. Their thinking is that no one has the right to tell them to purchase insurance but when they’re sick and not insured they have the right to healthcare that may cost $200,000. I don’t think you would find that many Germans to be so juvenile about it,” he said.

They take an already-inflated number — 46 million Americans “without health care” — and round it up. This is just sloppy. In addition to the almost 1/4th of the lower number that aren’t Americans (illegal immigrants), they seemed shocked that so many are “without any type of health care”, ignoring the fact that perhaps another 1/4th choose this or are self-insured. This is advocacy journalism at best, and lying at worst.

There is, as I said, some vague information about what the different country’s plans do, with no information about costs. Yes, I think most Republicans would like to see a more privatized version of reform, and how much people in these countries are taxed for this coverage is material.

Regarding the reforms you mention, I think I can agree on them in general. How you handle pre-existing conditions is a tough one, though. If you’re very likely to cost more in the future, should you expect your insurance to be subsidized by your neighbors? Should we de-incentive-ize bad health choices? If you’re a smoker and a heavy drinker, should you pay the same as a healthy person who has never used either? I just don’t see that as fair. There needs to be some connection with real cost.

But indeed taking your money while you’re well and dropping you when you get sick needs to be regulated.

The more you regulate what is paid to doctors, however, I think the less you’ll have doctors to pay. Med school costs big bucks and I believe one of the reasons many countries with socialized medicine have waiting lines is because of the supply issue.

By: AW Wed, 09 Sep 2009 13:24:47 +0000 Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you, real life has gotten in the way. What would you think about a plan like proposed here?,,4621532,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-top-1022-rdf

I thought it seemed a rational middle ground but I didn’t think conservatives would go for it. Again profit motive is taken out, as no other industrialized country has a profit driven healthcare system. I agree with you that whatever comes up should not be a free ride and all plans whether private or public should be self sustaining.

You never did answer my questions from the last paragraph of my previous post. I am really curious as to your answer.

By: Doug Payton Thu, 03 Sep 2009 02:38:58 +0000 I think healthcare and food are of the same importance. Just because you use one less often doesn’t make it less important.

Then, again, are you in favor of putting the government in charge of the food industry, taking the profit motive out of it?

I think the Jesus v moneylenders story gets applied to many situations that it doesn’t really apply to. “My house is a house of prayer” is what He says first, so this was more an indictment of how the religious leaders were allowing this in the tabernacle. This happened one time, as often as Jesus moved through cities and towns where others were making money.

I don’t think He’d approve of making a profit on the suffering of others, but I don’t think He’d want a country to go into huge debt to try to finance a “fix”. Like I said, other countries are realizing that this isn’t a panacea and are backing away from it. The profit motive is actually cutting costs.

If we had a public option that was completely optional and that didn’t lay further regulations on existing insurance companies, as with WIC or food stamps, I think that would have a much better chance of passing. The main problem with a government option on healthcare, though, is that it can subsidize it with tax money or debt, and artificially elbow out other options. Do we really want a monopoly in this area?

By: AW Wed, 02 Sep 2009 20:15:40 +0000 Doug, I am really glad you are dialoging with me. To answer your question I think healthcare and food are of the same importance. Just because you use one less often doesn’t make it less important. Clarifying what I said, All insurance would be part of a federal exchange, which is what I was saying. A federal exchange would allow companies to compete along with a federal option, one similar to what our representatives in congress get(which is subsidized by 2/3 by public funds).

As for profit, there is nothing inherently wrong with it in most cases, but when you are legally required to deny people healthcare, to ration their care and to send them home to die for a bottom line, that’s immoral. Since I am going to assume you’re a Christian, remember how Jesus reacted to the money lenders. The money lenders found blemishes in offerings and as such they were not given as much for their money and the poor were unable to compete with the wealthy. Now I am personally not a Christian anymore, the lesson is very true that as Jesus did not approve of the money lenders at the temple fleecing the worshipers(which could easily relate to healthcare as religion is not required for life, but for quality of life), I don’t feel he would approve of making a profit on the suffering of others.

I don’t get the rationing argument, our care is rationed now. My own health plan has requirements that I see my PCP before a specialist, that I am only allowed to purchase certain medications, which we can’t even group together and get a better price for or order from another country where our medications are made, this bill was passed under conservatives.

The whole truth is that we are going to pay for the uninsured one way or another. Our current system is broken and is soon going to be too expensive. I have a few plans I think would help and I am not opposed to finding ways we can agree.

From what i have been able to gather I think they following are things that both sides agree on and we should get passed as quickly as possible. Rescission needs to go, you pay for health insurance and you should get it when you need it. Pre-existing conditions need to go and you can’t raise rates on one person in lieu of denying them for pre-existing conditions. We need ways to make healthcare more efficient on supply side(which would be really easy with a simple database like France has)We need more doctors in all areas.(Which I actually have a plan that I think would work.) Let me know what you think of these.

By: Doug Payton Wed, 02 Sep 2009 13:03:02 +0000 Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Allow me to respond.

For question 1, yes, I would likely have to change, but my policy could be what I or my employer wanted it to be. After reform, it would have to have certain standards that I may or may not want to have to pay for. This is one place where the food/healthcare thing comes into play. A program for the poor to get food doesn’t restrict my choices with regards to what I buy.

Ironically, the GOP has proposals that, among other things, allow you or your employer to shop for insurance across state lines, eliminating the whole state-line issue. This is not in the Democrats’ proposals.

I’m not sure what you mean by states coming into a federal program. Yes, there would be a federal, public option, but there would also be restrictions and requirements placed on private insurance companies.

I simply do not agree that profit motive makes things inherently bad. See the Soviet Union for what happens when you remove all profit motive. And places like Canada and Sweden are realizing that the lack of said motive is bankrupting them. Sweden is even realizing that socializing in general is killing their culture. ( for details.)

I most certainly do have power over my insurance company; I can fire them. That’s my vote; my money. And it’s absolute; not one of millions of other opinions. I have much more control over my insurance company than my President, frankly.

And really, if you think losing the profit motive does away with rationing, you really need to understand what goes on in Canada and England first.

There are people who still cannot afford enough food, and you might make the case that the profit motive is to blame for that, too. Hey, food companies are required by law to make a profit, too, right? Do you then want the feds involved in food production and distribution? Food is more important, right?

Yes, corporations will fight for their business, just as you would fight for yours. I don’t begrudge them that. A government with so much consolidated power in Washington, and politicians who respond to cash, are the real problems. Smaller, decentralized government is the solution to influence peddling. When you have to convince lawmakers in 50 states vs. a handful of Senators in DC, it makes it a lot harder to affect things on a massive scale. That’s the solution to that problem, but that’s another topic.

Programs like food stamps and WIC get their jobs done without taking over the whole food production process. A health reform bill should strive to do the same.

By: AW Tue, 01 Sep 2009 18:25:31 +0000 Question 1 in response to you saying you would need to change your healthcare…wouldn’t you hve to change your healthcare if you moved now? Most people get their insurance through their employer and even this wouldn’t change if you have the same employer. Also this would be a federal program, how would states even come into a federal program? I guess that’s two questions, sorry.

In response to your questions food and healthcare are both human rights. If you don’t want government intervention why not go to the system France has where they have non-profit health insurance. It’s the profit motive that makes our insurance bad. They are legally required to make more money which means they legally have to deny more people, a la rationing, rescission and pre-existing conditions. If you’re for choice and freedoms, then why are you supporting the insurance companies who you have no power over as opposed to the government which at least you have a power of vote over.

You are not free if you are in need of the basics of food, shelter and health. No one can protest from their sickbed, especially if they have to spend all their time fighting with insurance companies.

I am all for keeping the government out of the health care equation if you can show me how it wasn’t a profit motive that got us here. Tort reform won’t lower costs, it was already taken care of under Pres Bush. Liberals and Conservatives are fighting the same enemy. Corporations. They have more influence over our governments than anybody which is why they spend a million a day to protest health care reform and have an army of 350 lobbyists.

Let me put a question to you. If you had a business and a lot of clout wouldn’t you do everything you could to fight against real competition? If you stood to lose $2 Billion a year wouldn’t you spend $1 Billion to stop it? That is the situation we are in.