Healthcare Stuff

February 24, 2010

Here's a collection of shit I'm tired of hearing in the health care debate.

I want to provide health coverage to everyone. I'm compassionate.

Bullshit. You want someone else to provide health coverage to everyone and it doesn't bother you one bit that "someone else" won't have a say in the matter. That's not compassion.

What Would Jesus Do?, Do unto others…, etc.

There are various forms of this argument that claim providing health care to everyone is the moral thing to do. All of a sudden, liberals are OK with making everyone live by Christian values via the law. Interesting.

Anyway, this is also wrong. Jesus would help as many people as he could of his own free will. That's not what you're talking about. You're talking about making others help people by force. This is not even remotely the same thing.

As for the "Golden Rule", it's a simple two-step process:

  1. Figure out how you would like to be treated.
  2. Treat other people that way.

The important thing to remember is that step 2 assumes consent. There are people that like to have their balls beaten with a hairbrush. That doesn't mean they can go around doing this to others. And no, it's not different because that hurts people. So many people will consent to being helped, and not to being harmed, that it's easy to forget, but consent is required either way.

To listen to these arguments, you'd think the steps were:

  1. Assume everyone wants to be treated the way you want to be treated.
  2. Force everyone to treat each other that way.

No. If you like to have help with your bills, then the appropriate course is to go help others with their bills. Leave your neighbors out of it. If you like to have a large percentage of your paycheck taken from you, congratulations, but you can't go around taking others' paychecks.

They just oppose health care reform because Obama's black.

This country has been without a government healthcare system for its entire history. Do you think it's because no one ever thought of it until 2009? No, it's come up numerous times and been rejected numerous times. None of them can be explained by bigotry. Why would you think that's the reason this time?

So someone deserves to die because they have a pre-existing condition?

Of course they don't deserve to die, but they don't "deserve" to live either. That is to say, forcing someone else to keep them alive isn't one of your choices.

Honestly, I'm surprised the pre-existing condition thing has been such a big part of the debate. Would you expect someone to sell you homeowner's insurance after your house caught on fire? A pre-existing medical condition is a guaranteed cost for an insurance company. They went into business to take on risk -- not to take on guaranteed costs. If all you liberals think taking on guaranteed costs is a viable business model, then why not start up your own company that does so?

My guess is that congress harps on this as a way to put the focus on greedy insurance companies. "It's their fault because they won't pay!" This distracts from the fact that, if it weren't for congress interfering in the market, we wouldn't need insurance to pay for most medical services.

Having said all that, there are programs out there that cover pre-existing conditions. It's an attractive feature and they want to pull as many people over to their plan as possible. In other words, they're greedy! But that's supposed to be bad, right?

You wouldn't say that if you were sick.

Oh-ho, news flash! Most people want someone else to pay for all their problems, including me. So, what? I don't get to steal shit from other people any more than you do. Even if I really really want to like really bad.

Even if I did cave in and ignore principal when it benefited me personally, that just proves that I'm a douche. It doesn't mean you're argument is legit.

"If you like your current health insurance, you'll be allowed to keep it. The 'public option' won't be required."

Perhaps the least obvious yet most offensive problem with this statement is the idea that you can do business with an insurance company only because someone else has "allowed" it. We are free to enter into agreements with insurance providers or anyone else. Only God can disallow such voluntary associations. Anyone who suggests that men can or should have such power over other men has no business living among free people, let alone representing them in Congress. They should be jailed or deported immediately.

As for the accuracy of the statement, here are some things you should be aware of:

  • No one will be allowed to buy insurance for themselves individually. You can keep what you have, but you can never change to anything but the public plan.
  • If you get insurance through your employer, they'll be the ones that decide what plan you're on. The government will force private insurance to cover so many things, while keeping the price for their own plan very low, so employers are unlikely to have a real choice about which plan they go with. You will have no choice at all, since you'll no longer be able to buy insurance on your own.
  • While joining the public plan may technically be optional paying for it won't be. That hardly seems like a minor detail.

This is a democracy.

During a recent political argument on Facebook, a friend of mine said:

We live in a democracy, so if the majority of people agree that everyone must contribute to provide health care (or defense or roads or giant bowls of jelly beans), than you are free to leave the country for greener pastures.


So, the government can do anything as long as a majority of the people approve? We could bring back slavery if enough people vote for it? We could round up and kill all the watchmakers on live TV if it's a popular idea?

If you said "no" to any of the above (and I assume you did), then you must know there's something that determines what the government may or may not do and it clearly isn't a popular vote. Have you ever thought about what it is?

As for libertarian-type people leaving for greener pastures… we did that already. These are our greener pastures. Most of the world already works the way socialists want, so why don't they fuck off and go there already?!

Doing nothing is not an option!

Yes and no. I'll agree that changing nothing would be bad for everyone, but when most people say we should "do something", they mean the government has to step in and do more. I believe they need to step out and do less. Close to nothing in fact.

People have said they don't want a government takeover of healthcare. I hate to tell you, but that happened decades ago. Name one thing your doctor can do without the oversight of a half-dozen agencies. The details have been covered so I won't get specific, but the bottom line is that government interference is the biggest problem with our healthcare system.

In addition to being a problem practically, this interference has been blatantly unconstitutional. The proposed reforms are no different. The things that both Democrats and Republicans are talking about right now are things that they simply may not do.

But they do stuff like this all the time.

In every discussion I've had on healthcare, when I point out that the government isn't allowed to do anything with healthcare and that the other arguments are academic as a result, the other person will inevitably say "What are you talking about? The government already does XYZ and ABC all the time."

This is a prefect example of the Appeal to Common Practice fallacy. Thanks for wasting my time. That doesn't prove I'm right and they're wrong, but it proves that they haven't put forth a serious argument for government intervention. So, the "go to" response is no response at all.

Healthcare is a right.

I covered this years ago.

To add to what I've already said: Suggesting that we have a right to healthcare is effectively declaring that anyone who works in the industry has no rights. People talk about changing "the system". Doctors, nurses and people in insurance companies are individuals. They're not chess pieces that we can just move around to suit us.

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