Sunday, November 08, 2009

Stupid? Selfish? Greedy?

These are some of the characterizations I have read of people opposed to the health care bill that the congress passed last night. We'll call it PelosiCare, or PC for short, to differentiate between it in specific and health care reform (HCR) in general.

I am sure that there are some people who are against PC who deserve these descriptors. I am also certain that there are some on the other side who do also. But, in spite of the mouth-foaming rhetoric coming from many on the left, being against PC does not equate to wanting people to "just die quickly."

Far from stupidity, what informs many opponents of PC are an understanding of economics and a fidelity to principles that is frequently written off as partisanship. But is it "partisan" to question the constitutionality of a requirement that people buy a product? Is it stupid to wonder how a government that always adds layers of cost, fraud, and bureaucracy to everything they do can claim they will save us money? When did health insurance become a right?

As to charges of selfishness and greed, I am sure that I am not alone in thinking there is something horrifyingly greedy in a mass of people who are continually demanding to be given more, more, MORE--money for their house, cash for their clunker, "free" health care--from the government, from Obama (yes, really!) I heard a caller to a local radio show last week say that he didn't like the PC bill because it was going to make him buy insurance. He wanted the FREE health care that he believed the Democrats had promised him. Who's the greedy one?

I am against PC. I am not against HCR. I think that the alternative plan presented by the house Republicans had many common sense provisions that would have helped to solve current problems, some of which have been caused by government intervention in the system. In spite of the rhetoric from the other side, we have the highest quality health care in the world. If I believed that the system set up under PC would make our system better I would not be so opposed to it, but I believe it will hurt millions more people than it helps and will very likely finish wrecking our economy. It will take away freedom to chose the kind of plan you want--all plans must conform to an as yet undecided government template, so people like us who choose a combination of a higher deductible, lower cost plan and a pre-tax health savings account will no longer have that option. It will force all Americans to buy insurance under threat of fine or imprisonment.

I could write pages on what is wrong with this plan philosophically, morally, economically, and practically. But others have written these pieces, and this isn't primarily about the bill. It is about the negative, nasty characterizations of those who oppose it by those who support it. I know many wonderful, generous people who think that PC is wrong. I would gladly compare our family's charitable giving head-to-head against any liberal I know. I would be willing to bet that we give a higher percentage of our income to charity than any of them. And we are not alone in that. Being willing to tax other people and give away their money isn't generosity; but I can think of a few other names for it.


Barb the Evil Genius said...

I'm tired of being called greedy for wanting to keep what my husband works hard to earn, while people who want everything for nothing are seen as "deserving." Sadly, I believe it's setting up more class envy and warfare, but this result is probably the desired one.

Jennifer said...

And unless it's changed since I read it, it would give the government access to our bank accounts, so they could deduct payments automatically. I agree, and I'm tired of being told that because I oppose PC I am not compassionate and I am greedy. It's a great way to continue to avoid discussing the actual details of the bill and what it would really mean for all Americans.

Elephantschild said...

Jane, is there a summary somewhere of what the bill is, as it stands right now, before it goes to the Senate? Because there's so much info out there and my head is hurting.

Oh... never mind. I found it. Maybe I should pour a drink before I start reading?

Kim said...

I don't know that I would characterize the people who want free health care as greedy. Maybe frustrated with their lack of options and looking for some kind of solution? We don't have health insurance right now, we can't afford COBRA while we wait for the new employer sponsored plan to kick in. As I was reading about the new benefits we will receive at the first of the year I became frustrated. Where are the plans that cover your expenses from day one? Our new plan has a $6000 deductible! Yikes! This is the only plan offered by Paul's new employer and it's not an uncommon one either.

When I got hurt earlier this year we had insurance. I had a $500 deductible but after that I still had to pay 20% of the bills. I now have about $4000 in bills for a 36 hour stay in the hospital. No surgery just consults with a few specialists and a few x-rays. I'd hate to see what my bill would have been if I had to have surgery for my fractured vertebrae.

I'm not saying that I think the government should provide health care for everyone but I can understand why people with no coverage or poor coverage would want such a thing. I really don't think it's greed but desperation.

Dana said...

"Racist" is the new "Communist." It is McCarthy all over again. If you are opposed to the reforms, you're a racist.

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