American Elephants


Obama says: “We can’t afford the politics of delay and defeat in health care.” Yes We Can! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama has made the health care debate the hot button topic of the moment.  The President wants a bill passed right now — this weekbefore people have a chance to read the bill, digest what it actually says, question the policies it establishes, debate, stage protests, contact their representatives or discuss it with their neighbors.

This, in itself, is astounding.  Here is a bill that changes our entire relationship with the health care industry.  It changes where we will get our insurance, what that insurance will cover and what it will not, how we find our doctors and how we relate to them, and puts a vast quantity of Washington bureaucrats and functionaries in charge of our health instead of us.  And because it is so important, so life-involving and life-changing there is no time, no time to consider whether it is a good idea or not.  Most Americans are beginning to believe that it is not a good idea at all — and that is the reason for the rush.

Most of what is claimed as support for the need for “swift and decisive action” is either untrue or an exaggeration.  False statistics are paraded, examples from other universal health care systems are dismissed as “scare stories,” costs as delineated by the Congressional Budget Office are ignored, and those who speak out are attacked, bullied and threatened.

Liberals have good intentions.  They want universal health care because they believe that they, as enlightened government functionaries of sterling character, know how to see that their system is more fair and cares for everybody equally in an exceptional way — that is except for themselves, who they excuse from ever participating in such a plan.  How do they justify that?  Got me! But they justify excusing themselves from most anything that is a little unpleasant for the rest of us.  You do know that they give themselves regular cost-of-living pay increases automatically, don’t you?  They used to vote themselves increases, and then the voters got all huffy, so they just changed the system so they don’t have to vote.  It’s automatic, no matter what the state of the economy.

Liberals (Progressives, whatever) aren’t very interested in statistics or results or consequences.  They care deeply about their idealism, their goals and “social justice.” Social justice is a socialist code word for equality of outcome.  They have never liked the idea of equality of opportunity, because that does not insist that things be fair.   It’s just that trying to make things fair to everyone makes for a whole lot of bad consequences.

There are so many examples of government run health care.  Medicare is going broke and the baby boomers will start turning 65 in just a few years.  There is Medicaid, and the Indian Health Service.  None of these government programs are successful.  Massachusetts health care was supposed to show how a government-run plan could succeed and be an example for national health care for the country, and in just 3 years it is a failure.  Massachusetts just dropped 30,000 legal immigrants from the program because Massachusetts cannot afford them.  We are already subsidizing Massachusetts care for those who cannot afford insurance, with our federal taxpayer dollars, to the tune of $1.35 billion a year.

England, France and Canada have failing systems.  Many countries have two layers of care, one for ordinary people and another private care for those who can afford it.  James Lewis writes of his experience with Mexican care here,  and in the comments others describe their experience abroad.

Democrats in Congress and in the White House are already talking about rationing.  They have pointed out that the old folks rack up the most costs in end-of-life care, and that really can be reduced.  All of us will, with luck, someday become “old folks.” And they are already planning to deny treatment, operations, new remedies, but sorry, we just don’t have time to discuss it.  We have to pass the bill now.  Maybe we can fix it later, hmmn?


4 Comments so far
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fix it later???? HA! to do that would admit that there were preexisting problems with the plan when it was passed, and we cant have that. Hell, look at the law books and you’ll see ordinances and resolutions still on the books from 150 years ago, that someone would have to re-invent things to even accomplish breaking said laws. The government doesn’t change existing policy in writing, they don’t strip it out…they just continue to add to it, repeatedly and perpetually. Give me the books and a year, and I am sure I can shave those books down by half without even affecting existing conditions. Give me another year and I might make things cheaper from a compliance standpoint, and if gone unnoticed by the media, noone would even realize the difference despite stripping useless redundant regulations.

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Comment by Mike Lovell

We have a tendency in America to argue for or against a concept based on our own personal philosophy or view of the world, what advances our personal interests, or the interests of our party, family, organization, or region. Perhaps viewing the issue from a management or systemic perspective might result in innovative approaches to the issue. The American national mindset, citizen philosophy, lack of citizen motivation to be proactively healthy, and governance model make the socialization of health care in America very problematic, particularly at this point in time. A country needs to know its limitations.

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Comment by Reggie Greene / The Logistician

As an American living in Canada the past 19 years, I have watched with great concern how my friends and family have been without health care choices – either by cost or because the insurance company dictated what doctor they would see.

At the same time my family and friends in Canada are proud of our system and access to health care. We complain about staff shortages and cut backs, but overall, our care is excellent. And in case you have heard otherwise – I can chose any doctor or specialist I want.

I find it astonding that Americans have been subjected to high costs or limited treatment options, but continue to say they don’t want Government involved in their healthcare decisions — my fellow Americans– right now the insurance companies are making your health care decisions! How is that better? Government is designed to ensure essential services are in place and facilitate a safe, properous society. Shouldn’t health care access be part of that?

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Comment by Beverlee Loat

Beverlee….we’re not saying the current situation is perfect, but overall trading one entity to another that may be influencing things for us, isn’t the right way to do it. One devil for another? Doesn’t make any sense. WE want healthcare reform, but just because this is a different option being brought up doesnt make it automatically better.

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Comment by Mike Lovell




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