Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dumb Republican health care arguments

What we really need is a "bipartisan" health-reform bill. This is unrealistic because the GOP wants the status quo and it ideologically opposed to any changes to the private health care model that is only used in one other industrial nation , South Africa. There was no interest in bi-partisanship when Republican Tom DeLay was the Speaker of the House either

Whatever we do, we shouldn't ruin "the best health-care system in the world." This is just an outright lie and the GOP knows this statement is false. We are last in the 23 industrial nations of the world in health care and 37th overall according to the World Health Organisation. Who is first, none other than the 'cheese eating surrender monkeys, France!

This health reform is moving too fast. We already know the GOP strategy is to slow down legislation to destroy a public health care option.

If we can find an anecdote about a Canadian or Brit who had an unhappy medical experience, that means we shouldn't reform our own system. Let's look at the tree through the forest. This is a favorite of Rush Limbaugh. Find one dissatisfied Canadian and denounce the entire Canadian health care system based on that person's opinion. According to the WHO, Canadian health care is ranked 30th and the US--37th, a fact the right never discuses.

If this health reform passes, some bureaucrat might be able to dictate what care you can get, standing between you and your doctor. Who do you want a health care bureaucrat or a government worker? One is driven by profit and the other by service. Military retirees will tell you that their health care needs are better met by a government worker. 

Reform is all well and good, but we need to make sure it doesn't increase the deficit or the national debt. Since when did the GOP care about running the government in the black? Bush doubled the national debt while he was in office by virtue of supply side economics that cut taxes for the most affluent Americans  and also started an $800 billion dollar war. Public health care should cut costs by 30 to 40 per cent less. American health care costs twice as much as the other industrial nations of the world.

If you can make a flow chart with lots of boxes and arrows on it, that means health reform will be terrible. As a group, Republican representatives are not well known for their intelligence or dignity. They made themselves a confusing chart purporting to show how complex the Democrats' health plan will be. The Democrats countered with a GOP chart that contained a lot of question marks.  The GOP chart looked like it was put together by a group of fifth-graders.

If we could only make it illegal for people to sue when their surgeon when he amputates the wrong leg, we could get costs under control. You can sympathize with doctors who are afraid of being sued by patients who didn't like the outcome of their cases.

In Atul Gawande's justly celebrated New Yorker article, he relates how he asked a group of doctors in the now-notorious city of McAllen, Texas, why medical costs there are higher than anywhere else in the country. They began to complain about lawsuits, until Gawande pointed out, "Several years ago, Texas passed a tough malpractice law that capped pain-and-suffering awards at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars which eliminated law suits. Medical costs also rose after the law was passed.

Reform might make me lose my current health coverage. This already happens. if you lose your job or leave your job for a different one, you may lose your health insurance. Your employer may decide to cut or eliminate benefits. If you try to start your own small business, you won't be able to afford health insurance. If a family member gets a recurring serious illness, you health insurance may not cover it because of the 'pre-existing condition ' clause.

There are people who have absolutely no need to worry about losing their coverage? Talk to a senior on Medicare, a veteran who gets his care from the V.A or a retiree from the Armed Forces. Those 'socialist' government programs don't kick people off.

Health-care reform will literally kill you. The examples are amazing. Here is one to give you the gist.

Louie Gohmert of Texas delivered a bizarre rant on the House floor in which he claimed, "One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine! Now I've got three daughters and a wife. I would hate to think that among five women, one of them is going to die because we go to socialized care."

This is just part of the idiocy the administration must struggle through if it is to pass health-care reform.

There are some very good reasons to remain optimistic about the odds of reform succeeding. On the other hand, if in our national debate you always bet that the side offering the most dim-witted, disingenuous arguments may triumph. We have 13,500 million people who believe the Rush Limbaugh rants and even more who watch Fox News.


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