Friday, August 7, 2009

Fishy Thoughts on My Soap Box

There are many ways to express one's opinion: yelling at a congressman, writing an op-ed, throwing shoes at a President, patronizing movies that satirize the opposition. What all of these things do, is not address issues, but release pent up emotion about a state of things in general.

As cathartic as it might be to some to yell or to take pleasure in watching legislators squirm, (and I conceed, I've done my fair share of snarking because it is catharitc and fun to feel terribly clever for a moment) it does not address the actual issues that should be carefully considered and actually discussed. Part of the fault lies in the way Congress goes about its business and has as of late with a breath taking speed. When you race through bill after bill spending money hand over fist without stopping even to read what you are voting on, people who voted you into office start to feel that even if they offered reasoned discourse, it wouldn't matter. The rubber stamp from the party in charge would be all that determined if a bill became law.

Also, some people who (yes, their side lost), have no voice in any part of the legislative process feel powerless and thus angry that they are being force fed tax after tax, bill after bill, and while some good may come of the laws, much mischief is also afoot.

No one can say honestly that 1.7 trillion without reflection is without tremendous waste. But no one believes that this Congress, having had a taste of Wagyu beef type spending on a daily basis, won't find throwing trillions around much less scary from now on. Everyone talks of how we need to control spending; no one cuts one damn thing. No one wants their sacred cows turned into hamburger, only someone else's.

Here are my questions for our leaders from my blog. Please understand I know the facts about health care are not set, as the bill has not been passed, and that the numbers also jump from one day to another. I will try to use only the numbers and statements issued by official sources.

The White House said we won't lose our doctors or our coverage. I believe they believe that to be true. I also follow the logic of economics. Public schools versus Private schools seems like a good comparative.

There are public schools. There are private schools. There are some families that sacrifice to send their kids to private schools, but those who can't afford it, must contend with public schools. Within those public schools, the kids don't get a choice as to which one they attend. Some of the schools are admittedly, not very good, but there aren't many options or alternatives. Homeschooling has cropped up as a counter to the public vs. private dilemma. But this too has an operating cost of time and expertise, no everyone can manage it, and places like California are trying to limit one's ability to take it on, even if the results are stellar.

So I follow the pattern. There will be public care and there will still be private care which some sacrifice to hold onto, but some of the public care will be less stellar. I'd rather fight insurance companies than the federal government to get a "yes" when the bureaucrats say "no." So I worry about the lack of options. Also, home doctoring doesn’t seem like it would enjoy much success.

Here is my second problem. We currently have Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP. None of these are fully funded, and that causes some seniors that currently rely on the government programs, to not get the care they need. Doctors will refuse to take Medicare/Medicaid because it pays so poorly. Medicare and Medicaid are not fully funded because it would be too expensive.

So...I want to understand how it would be less expensive to pay for 50 million or 43 million or 15 million or whatever the number is that actually would be supported under this omnibus health care bill, than to fully fund Medicare and Medicaid and SCHIP? Or is that next? Why aren’t we doing this first? It would be less contentious.

Then there is the issue of waiting periods. Britain, France and Canada all have Universal Health Care. The lines are long for basic services. The waits are long. Many of them come here if they need something more immediate and can afford it. When I was at Children's for my son, people flew from the United Arab Emirates to have their kids treated here. Here is honestly, the very very best for medicine in part because it is so very very swift. How can we guarantee this swiftness won't be lost, when we don't know how this will work?

"Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." the President has said. It's a good line; a pithy way to dismantle legitimate objections about the inability to anticipate or control costs or ensure quality.

Now I want the mother who opted to keep her Down’s Syndrome baby despite pressure to abort to be able to get the life saving heart surgery at Children's from the doctor who does this routinely even if she doesn't have my health care plan. I get it. I'd pay for that because it is the right thing to do, to care for the sick. (So shouldn't you be in favor of this health care plan?).

No. I'd rather the government go and purchase those health care plans from the private insurers with my tax dollars. Then, tax the profit from those plans at a higher rate to recap some of the tax money. (I'm a pragmatic Republican).

Why? Because I distrust giving government ownership over our health care program, and I haven't seen this Congress or this administration (or any for that matter) show prudence or restraint or wisdom in its stewardship of all our interests or income.

Don't make the good of this country, the enemies because we have legitimate concerns about a policy or patterns of policies. Don't demand silence just because some people shouted. Don't let the legitimate good of caring for the sick result in allowed evil. There are concerns about funding abortion. There are concerns about rationed care and the possible push of assisted suicide as a form of medical treatment. These ethical and moral issues need to be addressed and expressly denied in the legislation itself to ensure such fears are unfounded. The people who shout are some of the people who will be paying the taxes to fund this program should it pass, and they ought to be granted more deference than to be simply branded Republican shills and lobbying hacks.

Last question to answer for those who are thinking....Sherry...this is a humor blog...why are you being so darn political? Well, this blog is many things, an outlet for humor and for thought, and since I can't make it to a town hall, here is also my personal soap box.

Also, this week, my kids have all been good, so there's been no story for a few days. So maybe they're getting sick...or I'm in really big trouble because they're colluding on something big.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

they've all been good for a week?

you'd better run for the border girl....that does NOT bode well!

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