While writing that post on healthcare I was also thinking of what I was saying. I realize that there are some people in need of aid, but wonder how much a society is obligated to help it’s citizens. If health care is on the list, then shouldn’t food, clothing and housing be also? If you feed someone then there is less likelihood that they will need health care. If they have a place to live they will stay healthier than living on the street. If they have new clothes they will feel better. And in that place, of course they need furniture and beds and a nice wide screen TV to keep their mental health up. OK, a little ridiculous but who is it that says at what point this support stops or starts?
So, what defines a civilization? Is it the protection given; is it the aid given to those that are in need; common goals; what? I understand there is some obligation that everyone must have, but how is the extent of that chosen? I like the concept of universal health care, like Canada and other countries have, there is a good discussion on Wikipedia comparing the US and Canada. Rather than argue both sides myself I asked DA to come up with a rebuttal against healthcare reform. Here is her response:
Before I launch into my reasons against socialized healthcare, let me say I support it for children, immigrants, elders, single/divorced mothers with inadequate income, disabled and those who have gone through natural disasters (fire, flood, hurricane, tornado). Also for those who have no way to get insurance (if my husband loses his life insurance at State Farm, because he has been treated for melanoma no other firm will touch him unless he goes one of those term life policies most likely), and in such situations as now where we have mass lay-offs and no way to get employed with benefits ... This healthcare system already exists, it's call Medicare/Medicaid.
I also think the "pre-existing condition" loopholes that insurance agencies use is BS. It's like saying you're middle-aged or older, back in the dating scene and refuse to date anyone who's got kids or grandkids. As we get older, we have more past, more history, more experience, more baggage, more obligations, more family members, more health history. To be denied treatment due to "pre-existing" conditions is like saying a hairstylist won't dye your hair because you've had grey hair before or been dyed by someone else or cut/trimmed, or denied liposuction because you've been fat before. I've actually had an auto warranty for extended coverage deny my claim because "the part has to BREAK, it can't just WEAR OUT." Well, the car had 90,000 miles on it when I bought it. At that point, things are going to WEAR OUT -- which means BREAK. As we get older more and more things are going to WEAR OUT and BREAK and multiple times. At some point the "pre-existing condition" stipulation is retarded (and yes I meant that in a derogatory manner intentionally -- no offense to anyone with developmentally disabled family members, friends, patients, etc).
On the other set of claws, since the times of ancient Greece, people have figured out it's easier to sit back and let the government give you monthly rations instead of work to earn your keep. We already have government funded housing (metro housing, Section 8), food (WIC/EBT), monthly income (welfare), education (public schools - tho' paid for by taxpayers), mail delivery (stamps don't cover everything), police/fire/ems, retirement/disability (social security), etc. We even have the CSEA making sure the sperm donors pay for the kids women have whether they were being responsible and wanted them or "oops"'ed and the IRS who gives tax credits for each child so there are bigger annual refunds. We're already as close to Socialism as we can possibly get without crossing the line completely.
Sure the insurance companies suck, but they're for profit. Unfortunately we're stuck with the ones our employers give us (which if you think about it on the extreme ... this means you have your insurance chosen for you already -- socialized by your employer ... use who they give you with their restrictions or suffer), but if we continue to give handouts and provide for everyone who doesn't need it and is capable, everyone will sit back and let the government hand everything to us.
There is already proof of this in our education system. Reform the school systems all you want to, make the students take standardized tests to pass. Once they're 16, they can quit school and get their GEDs. Employers, the armed forces and colleges take GEDs alongside diplomas. Why try if you don't have to?? I'll admit it, when I was in high school I seriously considered dropping out just so I wouldn't have to put in the effort. My mom threatened to kill me so I stayed in school. But I've watched relatives on both sides of my family drop out, get their GEDs with little or no repercussions/negative effects.
So why aspire to go to college and have better things for our families when the middle of the road's adequate and someone's going to hand everything to us? Since the dawn of industrialism, people have lived generation after generation in slums and lower income parts of town with no desire for themselves or their children to do better. My father's family's been on the dole for generations, with Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare and Section 8 housing because all they want to do is run with the Iron Horseman MC club, have kids at age 14 and 16, quit school and party.
Upward Mobility, the desire to move from lower class to middle or upper class is no longer there because their lifestyles of being handed everything and provided for is good enough for them. They let someone else take care of them and I believe that situation is going to escalate if we go to socialized healthcare.
You can say "oh it works in other countries" but those countries have fewer people and more pride in themselves. They still want to work and are concerned with their image and reputation in the face of their peers. Not in the US. That went out the window. Back in the 70s and 80s we talked about overweight people behind closed doors and quietly said "she/he's 'heavy-set'." Now people my size (slender builds) are in the minority and are constantly accused of having eating disorders (I have the metabolism of a hummingbird on heroin, thanks). Men go around with their boxer shorts and Fruit of the Looms hanging out, women with their thongs "whale-tailing" for the world to see with no shame at all. Women with six kids by five different men ... that's not a disgrace anymore, either. In other countries, you don't see any of these shenanigans. They work hard and they appreciate what their country provides for them. Not here, we think we're OWED.
What makes you think we're not all just going to sit back and milk the government for everything we can get if they keep providing handouts because we think we DESERVE them??? You can't be forced to work and no one can force a hospital not to treat you. We're a country based on loopholes, technicalities, and how much we can get away with.
Now for me, I like choices and I think the government would become an HMO style (I always go PPO so I can change doctors if I'm not happy with the one I have even if my rates are higher) that would take away my choices and force me to go to the quacks and butchers who are not providing me with adequate care because they're getting kickbacks or reduced rates or something.
My husband's argument against it is simply because we've yet to see anything government run that's been managed effectively and I agree with him there as well. I ask the questions, will multicultural issues be handled as well or will they force their new brand of healthcare at you and make you go certain times, get certain vaccines, get blood transfusions and transplants if your religion is against it?? Are you sure they won't violate your freedom to not be seen kind of like a diamond warranty for your jewelry ... to keep your warranty you have to go every six months to get your diamond checked.
I've been "off-grid" for years (even tho' I've had coverage at different times) except to be treated for whiplash in 2005 and female trouble in 1999. My health's not perfect but I don't feel the need to go ALL THE TIME. If I went for every little sniffle, and was concerned about getting everything my family members have had, they'd put me in a bubble or label me paranoid.
We don't need completely socialized healthcare, we need common sense. Insurance companies like COBRA need to understand if you get their insurance after you're laid off or quit/get fired ... you don't have the income to pay their outlandish prices as if you were employed and paid less via BC/BS, Anthem, Aetna, whomever your company had. Insurance companies also need to quit the pre-existing condition stipulation BS because sooner or later we've all had something. Luckily we only get chicken pox once huh?
I say lower the price of healthcare (and stop the stupidity) so it is accessible to all who can get it and keep the Medicare/Medicaid for those on the dole or with extenuating circumstances aforementioned. Let us keep our options, keep our freedoms, and prevent more abuses to the government funded systems/handouts we're all growing more and more addicted to.
When she posted some comments on Facebook she liked this response:
I'll add my 2... . Canada has some trust that the people can self-govern in terms of taking treatments and medications. Perhaps another issue is the human right to refuse treatment--either self-imposed, or by another's choice. That's another issue entirely. Canada has several drugs OTC that are Rx here. Allegra and Robaxin/Ibuprofen come to mind. They also have more preventative and complementary care that the 17% of US doctors who are members of the American Medical Association say are "too radical, too ____" even though complementary care is providing more and more evidenced-based research each year. I guess I have a lot to say as a Health and Wellness Major--even though I have yet to formulate a comprehensive answer to the problem. It will take a lot of people working together to get our system away from a sick and injured care to a health and wellness care.