Thursday, August 27, 2009


Kennedy's dream is our inspiration :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Mary Mitchell

Working in a technical job and from time to time with people who have emigrated from Canada, England or other places to GET the health care they need, I'm often reminded of the difference between reality and emotion. Our feelings have very few limits -- reality has a good deal more.
It is pretty simple.

As a country, we either believe that health care is a right or we don't.

So what is "health care"? Were Kennedy in England and on their "universal" plan, the only treatment that he would have gotten for his brain cancer would have been hospice and pain relieving drugs. I'm assuming that the author of this column would consider that to be health care?

The raucous debates over a "public option," so-called "death panels" and "taxpayer sponsored abortions" are designed to obscure the real issue:

We live in the richest and most powerful country in the world, and we can't find the will or the compassion to ensure that all Americans receive quality health care.

It is a disgrace.

So the "real issue" is simply "ensure that all Americans receive quality health care"?  So which ones don't? The uninsured? I don't think so -- if they show up at clinics, they will get health care just like Teddy. What exactly is it that makes it "a disgrace"? In England, a person of less than Kennedy level extreme wealth would get hospice care only for the same cancer that felled Teddy. Is that decision a "death panel"? Yes and no. Hospice care only would have been $100's of K cheaper for Teddy, but he might not have been able to speak at the Democrat convention, or see BO elected. As a nation, we paid $100's of thousands of dollars for a very rich man to have a few more months of life. In England, **HE** would have had to pay, but 99% of us would not have gotten those months, because we could not afford them. I'd tend to argue that is reasonable -- but that is a major part of the shape of a REAL debate on health care.

That thought process seems like it is on the way to how we might reform health care in this country. Right now we ALL expect "Teddy Kennedy care", and indeed we all pay so even Teddy gets that level of care without having to take it from his own pocket. I like to call it "Private Jet Care". Virtually none of us can afford to have a Private Jet, yet all of us now expect to have health care that is the equivalent of a Private Jet. Unsurprisingly, providing everyone with that level of care -- insured or not, is EXTREMELY expensive. We complain about it pushing 20% of our GDP, but in many ways, it is surprising it isn't more.

Frankly, some of the arguments against health care reform that are made by ordinary people sound hard-hearted.

How did we get to the place where so many of us think that health care reform boils down to paying the medical bills of "those" people who are "shooting each other" or who are "immigrants."

Ironically, it won't be "those" people who won't get treatment when they need it.

Being liberal means being "morally pure" where it counts for liberals. The fact that some conservatives and Christians may have "morals" about whom one can sleep with, drowning your secretary, helping your nephew get away with rape and other mundane things like that is "chilling", "full of hypocricy" or "turning the clock back to tghe 19th century". If one espouses liberal principles, one can hold the wealth of a Kennedy or a Kerry and be 100% free from the charge of hypocracy. Being liberal is a "matter of the heart", and only foul conservatives would somehow imply that not all matters of the heart can be conjured in the real world.

My "goals" may be "simple". "Health care for all that is cheaper, higher quality and provides more choices". How can anyone disagree with that? How about with an investment plan that "has less risk, higher returns, and only invests in sustainable business"? Of say, a diet, where you can "eat the foods you want, when you want, and excise only when convienient to you and reach your target weight in less than a year".

The "simple" problem is the complete confusion of ends with means. I heard Amy Klobochar on MPR today from at the fair repeat more than once "covers all, less expensive, higher quality and adds to the choices that people have today". She said not a single word about "how", since in the real world were MEANS are a MAJOR part of reality, the devil is very much in those "details of how".

So the left this is a simple moral issue. Other countries that have only 10-30% of the population of the US  "have it" (although there is precious little study of what "it" is other than the lable "universal health"). But they say that "we don't" -- because there are 47 million people without insurance. But wait -- insurance is a MEANS to PAY for healthcare! It isn't healthcare at all! Teddy Kennedy could have paid for his treatment out of pocket with EASE had he been uninsured! Had the poorest 77 year old in the country walked in to the same hospital as Teddy, they too would have gotten the same care. Only in a country with "universal health" would Kennedy have received care, but another 77 year old of less than top 1% wealth would not have.

We live in a supposed democracy where it is immoral to discuss how we pay for out health care because the left had decided so. Welcome to BO America.