Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm talking to you Chuck Norris.

A public insurance option was a major part of the Democratic platform in the 2008 Presidential election. You'd think nobody was paying attention when they were voting. Well, I do remember Republicans spreading rumors about whether or not Obama was an American citizen or secretly an incognito Muslim last summer, while Democrats were arguing about health care and the wars.

Barack Obama Campaign Promise No. 518: Create a public option health plan for a new National Health Insurance Exchange.

I'm not a fan of the individual mandate to carry insurance - it's one of the reasons I voted for Obama over Clinton in the primary - but if that's a concession for the U.S. to join the rest of the civilized, Western world and offer its citizens an affordable option of some sort to compete with private insurance which is offering less and less for more money every year, I'm OK with it.

(And make that the requirement to buy from the government that you are a citizen or are verifiably in the process of becoming one. Private insurance doesn't care as long as you pay them - which means they'll still make boatloads of cash from people who aren't citizens or don't want to be citizens.)

The real problem is that most people knew this. I don't buy the "he won because of the economy" complaints. Anybody that voted for President Obama because of the economy was already pretty close to voting for him. His sane, calm response to the near-collapse convinced them the experience argument that didn't work in the Democratic primary wouldn't work in the general election either.

The problem right now is that the Republican Party, by which I mean all of the most well-known pundits and most of the leadership both inside and outside of Congress, are making things up to scare people. Death squads? You should be correcting people about end of life options. All health services, including some government programs, right this second, offer the opportunity to plan this stuff out so people know what you actually want to happen.

And the socialism stuff? Putting aside that this is always the argument, this isn't socialism. It would be socialist if all the doctors, hospitals, etc., were owned and operated by the government. This is the government, using our tax dollars, to pay private businesses, who will do business with other insurance providers also. If anything, it's a mild form of fascism. The government's part ownership in General Motors and the unbelievable giveaways to Goldman Sachs? That's actual fascism. Just pointing that out, since you retards get that wrong too.

Look, every time private industry gets itself in a bind, Mommy and Daddy - that's the American taxpayer and Uncle Sam - save them. Look through history and recognize that government has been pushing the so-called free market capitalism of this country since its creation.

The railroads, the ultimate stimulus package (WWII) pulling us out of the Great Depression, the crash in 1987, all electricity providers, the GI Bill, the Internet, quality controls like the FDIC, FDA and USDA - this is all government. It's how it works, and it has pretty clearly worked for a couple hundred years now. Get over it.

If you don't think the government should offer insurance beyond Medicare and Medicaid, just say it. The government isn't trying to kill people. Seriously. Stop saying that your country is being ruined and start saying you just don't think a government insurance option is a good idea.

There is no reason that people shouldn't be able to see any doctor for any ailment, as long as they pay into the system. That's how insurance works, or should work, now. This is about making health care more afforable and ending the restrictions that allow insurance companies to refuse to insure people. I want to hear the argument against that.

Stop making things up about any proposed legislation and posting Chuck Norris opinion pieces on the Internet with ironic glee and actually argue against the concept already.

An FYI for Chuck: most state governments have child protective service agencies, as well as other agencies that offer educational and other assistance services. IT ALREADY HAPPENS. The language in the bill requires a government option to continue offering these things. They require people to have degrees and know stuff about what they do, too. What am I missing?

Your doctors go to college, don't they Chuck?

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