Thursday Evening Ramblings

Because of my role as an educator and a writer of entertainment-based fiction, I’ve long tried to avoid airing my political views in public for fear of alienating both students and potential readers.  However, with the current extreme partisanship over healthcare reform and the subsequent right-wing misinformation campaign, I cannot hold back right now.  Let me say to begin, I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, neither conservative nor liberal.  I have always been a free-thinker, someone who looks at each issue as objectively as I can and follow my morals and intelligence when arriving at conclusions.  In most respects, I’m part Civil Libertarian, part Moderate Conservative, part Progressive Reformist.  In short, I’m pretty complex.

I keep hearing people say they don’t want government run healthcare, but what they fail to realize is that we already have that.  On the Federal level, it’s called Medicare; on the state level here in Tennessee, it’s known as Tenncare.  They are both systems of healthcare operated by the government to assist needy people with health coverage, and for the most part, both systems function fairly well, not perfectly, but well enough for those they serve.  The problem is that because of current guidelines, nearly 47 million Americans do not qualify for coverage under these systems because they earn too much money, but these same people cannot afford private insurance because premiums have grown by over 119% in the last decade.  Very few people have seen that kind of increase in their wages.

Personally, I’ve lived most of my adult life without health coverage for precisely this reason.  I like to think I’m a productive member of society.  Since I was 12, the longest I’ve gone without employment is about five weeks, and that was when I was coming out of my divorce and was so screwed up about not having my kids, I had to take some time off.  Much of my life I’ve held two jobs to make ends meet because education pays so little, so I feel like I contribute to society.  However, from all the greed and corruption and waste in our current system, I have been unable to get regular, basic healthcare, and now, in my mid-thirties, I’m starting to pay the price.  Fortunately, I now have pretty good coverage with the state, but you as taxpayers spend over $1,000 a month on my premium.  Thanks, by the way.

Our current system is completely broken, and our current president is trying to fix it.  When I hear someone spew venom about that, I have to wonder what in the hell they are fighting to keep.  Other than insurance and hospital executives, some doctors, and pharmaceutical companies, who is benefitting from the system?  We’re the wealthiest nation on the planet, but nearly one sixth of our population cannot afford basic coverage, and many of us have had to file bankruptcy because of medical bills.  That’s preposterous.  My challenge to the people who are up at arms against the president is to stop watching only Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh’s insanity and start reading a few real news articles on the crisis.  Maybe you could even try actually reading the proposed plans for yourself.  You might be surprised to find that most doctors and most legitimate economists actually think that long-term it will be a good solution.  Most people agree that it will have to be streamlined over the next few years and that this will be a long-term process, not a quick fix, but fundamentally, it’s a fairly sound plan that utilizes many of the current conventions of private insurance companies.

4 thoughts on “Thursday Evening Ramblings”

  1. I would have to agree with you on this one. I am going to look at the medical issue from a different angle though.
    What ever happened to our nation, you know the one nation under God place. We talk of helping our neighbors and being good people. We raise our children on the words, share and give. Then we turn our backs on those people when it does not benefit us. We as a nation have become greedy and selfish hypocrites and I for one would love to see everyone, including the destitute and homeless, have health care. Think about it, you get a person healthy and they become productive. It is a shame when the voice of one man on the radio can bring so much hate yet a thousand voices looking for solutions and peace get brow beat. “Try it first before you hate it”. is what my mom used to tell me when I said I hated broccoli and now I love the stuff.

    PEACE

  2. Adams,

    I would have to disagree with you, not because I watch Fox misinformation or listen to Rush’s hate ramblings – but because I know that government run anything is NOT a good idea. Yes, I am aware of Medicare and Tenncare, and how they are funded by the taxpayer – but as you say they are still not fully effective. Socializing medicine to where there is no private choice, unless the person chooses to pay a fine, is not the answer. Yes, that is in the bill. Socializing medicine so that illegals get healthcare while senior citizens’ position are reviewed and pondered as to whether or not to allocate funds is not the answer. Yes, that is in the bill. Canada and Europe are both aware of the downfall of socializing medicine, and they are trying to get out of it – not encourage it.

    Now, I am not saying that the healthcare system does not need work. It does. But not the debt-crushing and choice-restricting blueprints put out by the Obama Administration. Frivilous litigation needs to be curtailed, insurance premiums do need to be reduced, pharmaceuticals do need to be redone, etc etc etc. However, a private sector can do that mroe effectively with competition than the government can with over-regulation.

    Just my opinion.

  3. From Factcheck.org, a website that combats misinformation from both sides:

    “Obama was correct when he said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants; the House bill expressly forbids giving subsidies to those who are in the country illegally. Conservative critics complain that the bill lacks an enforcement mechanism, but that hardly makes the president a liar.”

  4. Fact Check:

    1. Death Panels http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/23/betsy-mccaughey/mccaughey-claims-end-life-counseling-will-be-requi/

    2. Worst state health care is currently in Republican-controlled states. If they can’t take care of their own constituents, are they qualified to draft national reform?
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Charts-and-Maps/State-Scorecard.aspx

    3. The Republican Party is the party of fiscal responsibility and no (“Read my lips”) taxes. Reagan raised taxes twice in his first term. He tripled (TRIPLED) the national debt. Bush then doubled it.
    http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/10/national_debt_topped_10_trilli.html

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