Sunday, March 21, 2010

Make a Better Argument

As I sit here watching the congress do their last commentary on the health care bill, and watching the various protesters outside making their arguments, I am struck by conservative tactics. I keep hearing "Freedom" (it is being taken away) and "Socialism" (here it comes). This SO does not work with me.

As I listened to the Republicans, I kept mentally inserting "Military" terms for "Medical" terms.

The government will soon control the Military! If we give control of the Military to the government, costs will sky rocket! The weight of taxes will crush this country if this level of military control is handed over to the government! Imagine the government standing between you and the military!

I just thought it was an interesting academic exercise.

It did make me think of how many things the government controls (and WHY), yet we do not cry "Socialism" there. Roads, police, fire, military, etc... Those have yet to implode us. The sky is falling is a weak way to argue.

I do think the government should control health care. How, I don't know; a little above my pay grade. However, to me it seems to be one of those services like fire, police, roads, and military that should be under their umbrella. It is one of those things one has to have.

Market devices cannot help the person who has to have their appendix removed. They HAVE to have their appendix removed! Market forces work great for how much I should pay for a movie, or how nice a house, or what kind of car, or do I buy brand name shirts. Personal choice.

No family should go broke trying to save their kid's life. These are not matters of choice.

I also think the numbers that are being thrown out by Republicans are a little misleading. Yes, it will add to my taxes. But presently, I am spending nearly 10,000 dollars a year on medical (and rising) ... and that is with "good" teacher insurance. I would like to know the comparison between taxes raised and medical payments forgone (if any).

Anyway, that is where I stand. The Democrat bill is probably not the best bill; but I am pretty confident that the Republicans are full of shit. Let's face it, the Republicans were pretty quiet on the issue when they had the center seat, so their calls of "we want health reform too, just not this" sound pretty empty to these ears.

(Here is an article I wrote last summer which I think fits with today's outcome: Conservatives are usually the last to get on board.)


curmudgeon said...

Andrew, you have given the simplest if not best argument for why health care should not be a free market enterprise. If a reduction in insurance premiums means an increase in taxes I bet the net result is a total cost savings.

Don said...

I would have to agree with you and Curmudgeon. And, I used to be one!

Jose said...

Surely, you've read about how nationalized healthcare has played out internationally. Think: a no- cost minute clinic installed at your local DMV office.

Except they don't pay the doctors, so people stop becoming doctors.

There's plenty of blame to go around, and a lot of reasons that the costs are going out of control, but simply demagoging the insurance companies doesn't seem any different than any shrill cry of "socialism."

Are you familiar with HSAs? A solution like that which causes people to actually think before they consume a bottle of $50/pill asprin would be a great way to start controlling costs.

Andrew said...

Jose- If I followed your logic out we could not have any kind of military, yet I never hear conservatives calling for it's dismantlement. It seems the cries of inefficiency and encroachment are very selective. Somehow we have the "greatest" military on the planet, but seem completely unable to do anything else competently. I just don't buy it.

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