Posted by: eseeders | October 23, 2009

Exchanges Over Healthcare

Below is an exchange I had with an acquaintance over the health care debate currently raging in DC. Feel free to contribute to the discussion as you see fit. All comments were lifted directly from the debate, the only edits being for spelling. The original context of the commentary was in response to the post “Health Care for One, Health Care for all”.

Commenter:
Hospitals are forbidden by law to turn away someone in need of medical care. Taxpayers should not have to incur 50 million uninsured people at $7000 dollars of medical care per person annually. That’s 350 billion each year.

Myself:
That’s true that hospitals are required to admit anyone who enters the emergency room. However, that is the most expensive form of medical care one can receive. Does it not make more sense to insure people that way they can see a doctor before their issues become so bad as to force them to use the ER?

Commenter:
This is where free clinics would come in handy. Many hospitals are beginning to start this type of trend. If the people of this nation are worried about the uninsured, they should donate to start these types of clinics. Healthcare should not be left in the hands of the government. Americans need to step up and solve their own problems, not rely on a wasteful government to take care of everybody.

Myself:
Here’s the problem though, our society is not full of philanthropic individuals, in fact human society in general is very greedy. Health care to the poor and uninsured cannot be guaranteed unless the government is involved. To me the right to life/the ability to live is encompassed in health care and being a right should therefore be provided for by the government as with all our other rights irrespective of cost. If by me paying slightly higher taxes we save more children and others than would otherwise be saved in our current “private” system, then by all means have at my taxes.

Commenter:
We have stumbled on some fundamental differences between left and right wing politics. Just don’t forget that the government is not a single powerful being that is supposed to solve all problems, rather a combination of people elected to serve the people of the U.S. Federalized healthcare would be a step in the direction of socialism, which is not a system our forefathers fought and perished for. They died for freedom, capitalism, and free enterprise. Also, a vast majority of the uninsured are not American citizens.

Myself:
The health of an individual should not have a profit margin attached to it simple as that my friend. To live is a basic human right and one of the reasons we have governments is to ensure our pursuit of that life.

You say that government run health care would be a step in the direction of socialism yet i fear you do not realize that our country is not purely capitalistic as it is now. Medicare, the government run health care program for the elderly, while it does have its faults serves our elders to the point where most are afraid to lose it. The VA administration, put together to ensure our veterans are not forgotten when they return home from near and far is a socialist government run program. Then there’s social security, s-chip, police, fire, the faa, water and sewer services to name just a few among the many services our government provides.

There is not a single successful government in the world that is purely capitalistic or socialist, those are merely labels that distract from the real issues that burden our society. We should move away from such labels and concentrate on doing what is necessary to ensure that all who live here are guaranteed those most basic of rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Responses

  1. Notice that Americans are not guaranteed healthcare and rightly so.

  2. M.

    Why should healthcare not be guaranteed?

  3. Just let the free market regulate health care because that worked so well for the financial industry… oh wait….

    Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to have people wait until they have an emergency condition before being able to get help. The majority of bankruptcy claims are caused by medical debt, so we’d be financially stronger to have health care for all. The biggest problem will be ensuring the quality of health care when we increase the quantity, but I think that old saying applies (paraphrasing terribly): “You can judge the quality of a nation by how well it treats its poorest citizens.”


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