Friday, August 07, 2009

THE WAR OF THE -ISMS PART 2 :: Government Band-Aids

EDIT: I misidentified health care as health insurance. Below, when I am talking about health insurance, please understand I mean health care.


Socialized medicine.

Obama's plan is taking us down a dark path.

Obama is a socialist.

Socialists hate freedom.

Obama hates the United States of America.

It's all over the news. It never goes away.

I just don't get it.

Socialized programs mean bigger government. Socialized programs mean higher taxes. Socialized programs mean less control. Socialized programs mean no freedom. Not only that, but the government is a clusterf&*ck waiting to happen. You can't trust the government to do anything, especially something as important as maintain your health insurance. I mean, my God, look at what has happened to Welfare....

That's the message out there on the idiot box. But is it true?

What I don't understand is how we reconcile the fact that a socialized police force is acceptable. Wouldn't police privatization be better? Wouldn't it ensure quality service regulated by the free market?

And sure, before anyone brings it up, we have to buy life insurance. But having no life insurance doesn't stop the police department from intervening in order to save your life or property.

What I don't understand is how we reconcile the fact that a socialized fire department is acceptable. Wouldn't privatized fire protection be better? Sort of like personal home insurance? Wouldn't it ensure quality service regulated by the free market?

And sure, before anyone brings it up, we have to buy fire insurance. But having no insurance doesn't stop the fire department from coming to try to save what you have. Fire insurance only replaces what you've lost.

What I don't understand is how we reconcile the fact that a socialized military is acceptable. Wouldn't privatized mercenaries protect and serve the interests of our nation's security at home and abroad better than a broken, bogged-down bureaucratic mess of government regulation? Wouldn't it be regulated by the free market? After all, once those Al-Quaeda terrorists get in and bomb someone, wouldn't they contract shift to someone else?

What I don't understand is how we reconcile the fact that social security is acceptable. Isn't it broken? Aren't we delaying the inevitable? Shouldn't we privatize it? Is it as sacred and untouchable as those receiving it want us to believe?

What I don't understand is why we refuse to address Medicare. It is socialized. Isn't it broken? Wouldn't the elderly be better off seeking privatized insurance?

What I don't understand is why automobile regulations are socialized (in this case, dictated and enforced by the government). Wouldn't it be better, cheaper, and much safer for us, if we let the manufacturers themselves decide if their autos are safe? Wouldn't competition in the free market ensure they give us the best work they can do? Wouldn't we be safer?

What I don't understand is why Food Processing companies aren't allowed to regulate the conditions of their own food. Wouldn't it be better, cheaper, and safer for us, if we let them decide for themselves the quality and safety of the food we eat? Surely the competition of capitalism would keep us healthy. Why do we need the government?

Am I being ridiculous? You might think so. But all I ask is that you think about it.

Why are all the services that protect our lives and property socialized, except for medicine?

Have you ever thought about that?

Many of the above suggestions were actually done during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Privatized fire departments resulted in gangs setting rival departments' protected houses on fire. Privatized police evolved into cops walking past people being mugged or murdered who weren't on their list. Socialized military? It's been done. Just ask your friendly ancient Roman what happened with that.

Why do we mistrust our government to such a degree, always throwing up long lines, bureaucracy, broken, misused programs, and that end-all-be-all-you'll-pay-more-taxes argument when it comes to socialized health programs?


Can you explain this to me?

Why is it so important for us as citizens to ensure all of these above things are protected by our government, but yet the most important, the most critical to our survival, our very health insurance (care), is thrown out to dogs, placed on the auction-block as the quintessential case for proof that capitalism is sacred? Especially when it obviously IS NOT WORKING?

What medical care is needed is not determined by the patient. It isn't even determined by the doctor or nurse. It is determined by the insurance companies. This is not a parallel to house insurance or life insurance. House insurance does not determine where you buy your house or what house you can buy. Life insurance does not determine how long you will live, although, it is not without its problems. Most life insurance companies are just like the health insurance companies in that they will refuse coverage based on the most insignificant detail of your past history.

But for me, I see the shadow health insurance (care) providers as their own class of evil.

They decide whether you can be treated or not.

They decide whether or not your condition was "pre-existing."

They decide whether or not you have had a lapse in coverage, which will make you ineligible for future coverage.

They decide what medicines you can afford.

And they answer to their stockholders, not you.

They aren't in it to help you.

They're in it to make money.

Is this horrifying?

The police, fire, and military are subsidized by the government. You could argue that they aren't in it for the money. The government makes no money off these services. The people make no tangible profit off these services. There is no mysterious stockholder out there getting a good return because Officer Smith responded to your house after there was a report of a break-in.

But when that doctor sits looking at your file, knowing you have cancer, knowing he can't treat you because of the phone call he just finished with the underwriter, you can bet your soft butt cheek on the fact that someone, somewhere, just made a nice fat bonus check off that refusal.

Capitalism is a good thing. If I want to try to sell a knick-knack widget that I think is better than someone else's, i'm glad I can design it, make it, and sell it. I'm glad I can gain wealth and ensure that my family members can have an easier life.

But I'll be damned before I think my personal health is less important than whether my house burns, my homeland gets invaded, or I get back a stolen car.

Let's keep most things in the private theater. I'm not against that.

But only an idiot would think that health insurance belongs there. That is, unless you're making money off it all. But then again that's capitalism.