I’ve been enjoying my time with my family (I taught my 18-month-old niece to say “tattoo” even though she can’t say my name yet) and friends, missing those who can’t be here. Every family has their own quirky traditions, mine being no exception. I would gripe about the news that the Obamas have an ornament on the White House tree bearing a picture of Chairman Mao, but I’m not sure that would do any good at this point.
What I really wanted to write about tonight is the healthcare takeover boondoggle that is playing out in the Senate. I almost cannot believe some of the outright bribery going on hasn’t managed to show up as so much as a blip on our collective radar. I say almost because I know how liberal the vast, overwhelming majority of the MSM is and I know what’s going on now is completely acceptable to them.
It is entirely UNacceptable to me. It should be to all of us.
Lousiana senator Mary Landrieu declared that she couldn’t be bought off just before accepting a $300M payoff for so-called “Gulf Coast recovery.” Nebraska senator Ben Nelson accepted a promise that Nebraska would never have to pay Medicaid expenses–millions of dollars that every other state in the Union cannot get out of. Hundreds of millions in buyoffs have been attached to the legislation about to pass the Senate, and every Democrat in elected office is defending this behavior.
This after Nancy Pelosi and co. announced in 2006 that they were going to fight against the “culture of corruption” in the Bush administration. Ironic, isn’t it?
All who support this legislation claim that healthcare is a right. It’s not fair, they say, for the uninsured to have no access to the same care that others do. What they’re conveniently forgetting is that nobody is denied access to care. According to the law, if you go to a hospital emergency room in need of medical attention they cannot refuse. If you are ill or injured, whether you’re insured or not, you’ll be taken care of. So I still don’t understand what they’re wailing about.
Let’s go over some of the facts. The complaint is that healthcare costs too much. They say it’s because insurance companies are greedy and they’re making money hand over fist in this business. Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Insurance companies aren’t nearly as profitable as, say, trial law firms.
Doctors pay big bucks to go to medical school. They often end up in debt for their student loans afterwards, and they need to pay it back while making a living. On top of that, once they begin practicing they need something the vast majority of the populace doesn’t need: malpractice insurance. They need something to guarantee financial security in the event that a lawyer ends up suing and winning in a big way. That insurance is expensive, starting off at $20,000 annually and getting up to $275,000 annually, depending on the specialty.
Then there’s equipment. The high-tech equipment that helps run everything from a family physician’s office to a major metropolitan hospital comes with a price tag that would make most of us go nuts trying to compute. One single x-ray machine costs upwards of $8,000, while an MRI scanner costs around $3M.
Unfortunately, healthcare is run by people. Not just nurses and doctors, mind you–there are lab techs, x-ray techs, MRI techs, CT techs, patient care techs, phlebotomists, janitors…millions of people have jobs in the healthcare industry. They have to be paid. That isn’t cheap, either, considering most of them require special education for their fields as well. I looked into going to school for respiratory therapy and nearly had heart failure at the cost, which I was not willing to get a student loan for, no matter how much money they make.
All of this has to be considered when debating healthcare. It’s not cheap to provide because it’s not cheap to keep it running. To complain that healthcare should be a right means you have to be willing to accept that having a certain amount of income, whether employed or not, is also a right. It is pure socialism, like it or not.
This is also the first time in America’s history that the government has suggested mandating that every citizen, regardless of circumstance, purchase anything. Car insurance is a different issue; driving a car has the potential to affect many people if a driver gets stupid behind the wheel, and driving is not something that everyone does. This legislation is suggesting that every single citizen of this country must be insured, whether by a private company or the government. That strips us of some of our most basic freedoms. And, like it or not, it brings us one giant step closer to a socialist America, one void of the freedoms I hold so dear.
Then again, we have the FDA banning certain products left and right simply because some people are irresponsible with them (such as ephedrine, which I liked, and alcoholic energy drinks–my Jaegerbombers will be illegal soon!).
The government admitted the need to stay out of my bedroom. Now they need to stay out of the rest of my life unless I commit a crime. Nobody has any business whatsoever forcing me to pay for someone else’s healthcare. We had federal welfare once that operated in a similar fashion.
It was a disaster, resulting in entire generations living off the government dole without ever working a day in their lives. I will not give up one freedom, my freedom of choice (which you Dems seem so keen on when it comes to abortion), for some imagined “right” to substandard healthcare that I wouldn’t have bought when I had the right to provide my own care.