"Socialism" is NOT a synonym for civilized cooperation. (I really like Deval Patrick!)


Lynn said...

Me again.
I like the guy too, but two points:

1. The current health insurance industry is NOT free market.
2. "Cooperation" is voluntary. Mandatd health care "in which rich people pay more than the poor to finance health care for all" is socialism. (Quote from T.R. Reid)


Stephanie said...

If a free people vote for a public good, that's a democratic people taking care of its culture as well as its individuals. Currently, we call these matter of public good by names like public roads, public safety, public schools, public defenders, public parks, fire districts, and library districts.

L said...

And in the case of health care, the people have NOT voted for a universal health care plan...so then what do we call it?

Stephanie said...

Okay. So here's how it works. We vote for legislators. Legislators do our bidding, or we vote them out and put in some replacements. That's the voting we do, and we'll keep doing it.

We pay more money into a system that works less efficiently and less effectively and serves a fewer number of people than any other modernized nation on earth. I think we can do better with the money we currently spend - as a country.

I also think we have a moral obligation to do so.

lynn said...

This explains the results of the mid-term elections.

I read T.R. Reid's book which only convinced me all the more that the other countries are not doing that great a job...AND their health care systems are all going broke, except Switzerland which Reid asserts charges a family $700/mo for health care. Most of us hardly consider that "affordable."

Also, they do NOT "all" get health care. Rather, health care is doled out on the basis of DALY's and QALY's - if you're a critically ill 60 yr old who needs a kidney, too bad for you if some 45 yr old is in equally bad shape and can use that kidney. Some people are still left out of the health care loop.

Stephanie said...

Okay, Lynn. I get it. You hate the idea that we might change our system.

I, on the other hand, believe there is a huge mountain of evidence that our current system is cruel to the poor, unjust and onerous for the working wage earner, heavily weighted in favor of a profit motive (especially for the insurance companies and the wildly speculative and experimental pharmaceutical industry), bad for patients in a thousand ways, and unhealthy for both our economy and our culture.

The perfectly flawless cannot be allowed to be the enemy of the good in such a circumstance. And, if you understood Reid's book as evidence that our system is just fine the way it is, or that there is no other country on the planet that has anything to teach us, then there is really no point in continuing the discussion.

I think we have a lot of work to do, that we are morally obligated to do it. Like the Rich Man who passed by Lazarus at his gate each day, not seeing him, not caring for him, one day we will be called to account - and right now, we're utterly guilty.

lynn said...

Actually, if you think I hate the idea that we might change our system, then you definitely do NOT "get it" at all.

I agree fully that our system needs to change...just NOT to "universal" health care, which I do not think will change things in good ways. What Reid's book said to me, because he was honest enough to tell it, is that the other countries are NOT successfully providing health care for everyone, at an "affordable" cost (since all their health care systems are flat broke.)

I am not against change, I am just against THIS change. I think we have a moral obligation to care for the poor and fatherless and widows, etc. Here in the town where I live there are 5 active churches and between them, very few people fall through the cracks. BUT, because it's localized, we also know which people cannot be trusted to use cash to buy food, and which ones are too addicted to drugs/alcohol to ever take proper care of their kids - so we are able to do things like have the kids stop at a "friend's" house for breakfast in the mornings. We buy Christmas gifts for the kids instead of giving the parents the money to go shopping themselves. We put money down at the gas station and the grocery story. THESE are the kinds of safe guards that cannot be done in a huge government beauracracy and therefore, my money (which I am ALSO morally obligated to use wisely) is first of all, divided because some of it is going to pay for the job of the beauracrat, and the part that DOES get to the "needy" may very well never be spent to better their cause.

THAT is what I object to. I DON'T see our current welfare, medicaid, medicare, and social security systems as "working well" for the common good. Universal health care, in that it purports to work just like those do, is not anymore viable than those have proven to be.

So please quit assuming that you are taking the moral high road, and those of us who don't want "universal" health care; a) don't care about the poor and needy, and b) just want to maintain the status quo. Saying that I don't want to give my money to the tax collector in the hopes that he will take of Lazarus, is NOT to say I don't think Lazarus needs care.

The real reason there is no point in continuing the discussion is that you have already made up your mind that universal health care is the ONLY answer, the BEST answer, the MORALLY RIGHTEOUS answer to the health care problem. Anyone who disagrees with that is summarily dismissed from class.

Stephanie said...

All right, I shall amend my previous statement.

I also believe we have a Christian obligation to participate in our own culture and society. Taxes are part of that, and insofar as they can be done, so are good works of mercy.

I will not dispute that your small town is perfectly able to take care of its poor through the churches that are there. Our small town has many churches which also do these good works, but as far as I know, none of them can afford to pay for medical care. That goes through the county and the state, and although flawed human beings administer these programs, I would rather have them being administered in a flawed way than not at all.

So, yes. I do think it is the moral high ground not to opt out.

And I do not think privatizing all of the care for the poor can ever come anywhere near doing the job that needs to be done.