I have been thinking about who the people are that make up the 35%-40% that support this health care bill. I think One group will never have their minds changed because they understand what they are supporting and it is exactly what they want. The other group is sincere, but what they think they are supporting is not really what they will be getting. Let’s be honest here, this a massive new government entitlement program, any way you slice it.
Here’s what I think: 15%-20% of those who support this bill have been burned by an insurance company, or frustrated by rising health care costs. They just want the problem fixed and they either don’t understand or don’t care that this 2700 page bill is like treating a broken finger by amputating the entire arm and replacing it with a 2.5 trillion dollar mechanical arm to which the government holds the remote control. The other 20% genuinely want the USA to be more like the social democracies of Europe with more federal government control of our lives. They believe that government taking care of citizens’ every need is more important than the individual freedom and responsibility and that this country was founded on. It honestly does not bother them in the least that this bill adds 16,000 new IRS agents to the government payroll to inforce insurance mandates on individuals and businesses. These are the progressives that want to see America transformed into a new kind of Nation where the collective is valued above the individual. Having spoken to many of these people, I believe that they are sincere in their belief that the United States, collectively, will be better for this transformation. Individual freedom and free market economic success may suffer for it, but they believe that it is all for the greater good of America as a whole. The problem is that they are dead wrong.
America has been the most prosperous and free nation since our founding because of the very differences that progressives seek to eradicate. As yourself, what are we “progressing” towards? What are we “progressing” away from? I suggest a new course for America, a u-turn back towards the principles that we were founded on and that have made us so strong. The same principles that have been slowly muted, diluted, and refuted by progressives since the turn of the 20th century.
You have all heard the adage that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. If you look at history you will see that the further a country moves towards socialism, the less free and prosperous it becomes. From extreme examples like Stalin and Mao, Castro and Chavez to the more subtle slide towards socialism like what is currently happening in places like Greece and Spain, bigger government has always led to economic turmoil at best and mass murder at worst. So the question is, which direction do we want to slide down that scale? Remember, government power is only as good as those wielding the power. So ask yourself, what happens when the wrong people get that power, even if it’s 50 or 100 years from now?
Also, if private enterprise is the horse pulling the economic engine and social welfare program recipients are the cargo, what happens when the cargo outweighs the horse by 100 fold? Who will pull that cart?
Interesting, you're calling back to the neglected principles of the founding of the country which you assert we've drifted away from. Can you explain what those founding principles are and where they're described?
Without a team of lawyers and a copy of the 2700 page document, you are no more informed on the effects of the health care reform bill than anyone armed with less. We are fed opinion by the media of our choosing and the media we choose SHOULD feed our opinions or risk loosing readers /listeners. We "know" only as much as well funded opinions wish us to know. The freedom of capitalism has given rise to an anticipated side effect. The side effect is that those who are too expensive to insure, do not get insured.I was denied health care because I am self employed and was born with a heart defect. I always thought that being self employed was the "American Dream". Apparently the "American Dream" does not allow those who are not perfectly healthy at the time of application to have access to health care. It is simply unprofitable. I pay taxes, but have been denied the "privilege" of paying health care premiums or receiving health care.Health care reform is needed. Will the bill on the table be helpful? I cannot afford the lawyers to determine this. All I can do is try to have a little faith that it is a step in the right direction.As for the development and deployment of remote controlled robotic arms, I'm all for it!Ken Kriz
To John -I have studied in some detail out constitution and the writings of our founders. I just finished a book called "The 500 Year Leap" which is all about the principles, words and designs of our founders. Let me give you a few quotes from those wise and courageous men:I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.- Thomas Jefferson [What would Jefferson say today?]*************************************I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.-Thomas Jefferson [What would Jefferson say today? What would the Democrats say of such a statement today?]*****************************With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.- James Madison***************************** If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… they may appoint teachers in every state… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.- James Madison***************************** "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." — Benjamin Franklin*****************************"But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States." –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 32**********************************"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." –Thomas JeffersonI could go on and on, but anyone who has studied the writings of our founders wouldn't ask whether they belived in a limited federal government with the vast majority of power reserved to state and local government and individuals.
To Ken,I think that you fall into the first catagory that I mentioned. You have been frustrated by insurance companies and costs. And I believe that there are solutions to those problems that do not require the creation a a freedom-stealing, 2.5 Trillion dollar massive government entitlement program and take over of the health care industry. I believe that those who want this bill towards their ends of increased federal government have appealed to folks in your situation by acting like it was this or the status quo. But on a bill of this magnitude that will literally transform our country and shred the constitution's limited power, for the first time in hisotry giving the federal government the power to force companies and individuals to buy a service or be punished and in violation of the law. The most important thing that we can do when looking to government to solve problems to make sure that those "solutions" do not reduce liberty and add to government tyranny.Beyond that, you have to ask yourself if you think that the body that runs medicare, social security, the post office, amtrak (all broke) can make the healthcare industry more affordable to individuals and less burdensome on tax payers.The answer is already known. MA and TN both enacted very similar plans to this bill in the last decade. Both have seen increases in premiums and costs triple what they projected, currently unaffordable to their state less than 10 years later. If those are the pilot programs, they failed.
You make some pretty reasonable points. Yes, (some) Americans will try to do what is right. The only problem being they are wrong. It is odd that life never begins before the person you are speaking with was born. haha.There are some surprises coming for the Republicans, too. We are fed up. Tell the truth or be fired. Period.I hope your parents are well. You, too. Have a great week.
What is your simple solution to this broken finger? I'd gladly trade the robotic arm I am currently wrestling with for a splint.
Hi Ken,I have to leave on a business trip in a few minutes. But as soon as I get a chance I will lay for you what I think the solution looks like – a more free market solution. I'm not saying that I could write the bill, but I can tell you some things that could be done. Ironically there are things in this bill that I support, but the framework of the bill, is much more tyranny than liberty in its approach to addressing problems.
Sure, lets all go back to the days of the Founding Fathers. Slavery was legal and practiced. Women had no vote. For that matter, neither did the poor, Quakers, Catholics or Jews (in several states), and certainly not people of colour. Don't get me wrong: there's a lot of forward thinking in the framework of this country. I particularly have a great respect for Franklin, Jefferson, and Thomas Paine. I also agree that saddling a country with unassailable debt is unconscionable conduct, especially if one starts with a healthy economy and a budget surplus (c.f. G. W. Bush)That said, the economists of the Founding Fathers time did not have the benefit of subsequent thinkers: Keynes, Friedman, etc. Nor did they live in a time where poor black catholic women had the same vote as rich white male protestant land-owners. Society has changed.However, that's not the "real debate". Let's talk about free markets.You're kidding yourself if you think the US has anything like a free market. Commercial interests have always tried to manipulate government intervention into markets to eliminate their competition. The worst part about this bill is not that it's "Big Government", but that it's "Big Insurance + Pharma putting leverage on the Government". Do you really trust corporations *more* than government? You want that kind of power in the hands a few unelected people that are beholden only to the richest of their shareholders? At least with government everyone (now) has a vote, and can elect someone who better represents their interests. It's a mistake to think that the market will just magically take care of it all. It's just not free enough for that to happen. Ok, but that's also not the "real debate". Lets talk "entitlement programs". Do you feel entitled to a national defense force? What nation is foolish enough to gut their military? But why keep a big standing army? The Founding Fathers were opposed to a large standing army, fearing it's use against their own citizenry. Hence the right to bear arms. The individual militiaman is encouraged to be as well-trained in arms as any soldier, and willing to come to the defense of their country, even from their own government.However, the modern reality is far different. War has become a lot more specialized than marksmanship. The Founding Fathers could not have foreseen that. We have a national defense program because the realities of modern life require it. And the Government is the only modern entity capable of maintaining a unified standing army. Can you imagine the markets being wholly responsible for national security? The argument against this bill on the grounds that it's "a massive government program" is dead in the water unless you can show that such all programs are somehow inherently wrong. Start with national defense. Moving on…Insurance companies are in business to take your money, and not pay it out. It's in their interests to withhold coverage, deny claims, and use their leverage to drive down their pay-outs to health providers. There is no insurance company who will, without coercion, cover someone with a pre-existing condition. There's simply nothing a free market can do about that. It's a bad bet, and so there's no competition for that service. And so, millions of Americans are denied health coverage because of it. The system is such that they can neither purchase insurance, nor pay cash for their own care, as the prices are far above the ability for most to pay.The real debate is whether a country can afford to regard it's citizens access to health-care as if it were an individual luxury, or whether it ought to treat it as a top-tier public good, similar to national defense or domestic law enforcement.
We need a federal government to provide for national defense. That is something that individuals and state and local governments cannot do. But entitlement programs are completely different than national defense. It is NOT the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have food, water, health care, housing, transportation, etc. When you take away the role of charity and giving in this country and move that role to the federal government you kill all the benefits of giving. Not to mention the fact that the US govt. spends more of OUR money to do the same job as a private enterprise or charity. They are cost efficient in NOTHING. I know, I work with their bids and paperwork all day long in my job. Their driving force is spending money, not making or saving money.I want a limited safety net in this country, as I think most do, but consider that a poll taken today by Rasmussen found that Just 23% of U.S. voters say they prefer a more active government with more services and higher taxes over one with fewer services and lower taxes, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. This finding has remained fairly consistent since regular tracking on this question began in November 2006. Two-thirds (66%) of voters prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes.Also, when a free market flourishes, competition is the machine that culls the heard and allows consumers to choose the company whose products / services they like the best and whose corporate values they support.