Sunday, September 7, 2008


Dooce, a blog that I try to read atleast several times a week, is one of the reasons that I decided to enter the blogging world. The author, Heather Armstrong, can tell a story so much better than anyone I know. And, she is a phenomenal writer and photographer. All that being said, I usually think her posts are funny and, at a bare minimum, true. Well, that is, until I came home from work last Thursday.

I walked into the house and Dennis looked at me. "You aren't going to be happy about Dooce's post today."

"What did she write?"

" are going to have to read it." So I did. And I threw up a little in my mouth.

Please take a minute to read her entire post as I'm going to offer up a few counter points.

Dooce: I am angry. I am infuriated. And I don't think I would be if Sarah Palin were a qualified or competent choice as McCain's running mate.

What do you mean by "qualified" or "competent"? Palin has served as a City Council Member, Governor, and Mayor. Before getting into politics, she had several jobs in the private sector. She is also running for Vice-President and will be serving under a strong, experienced, leader.

Obama, on the other hand, has experience as a community organizer and also a Senator. He is running for President of the United States.
Just for arguments sake, let's say that Obama and Palin have the same amount of experience. And, since you are supporting Obama (with his level of experience) for President, Palin now appears to be a very qualified Vice Presidential candidate.

Dooce: Any time I engage with one of my conservative friends or family members, or sometimes the conservative commenters on this website, it usually devolves into them screaming about WELFARE! and TAXES! and THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING MY MONEY AND GIVING IT TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T WORK!

Response: I agree with you that having political conversations is very rarely, if at all, an easy conversation. People tend to get more emotional as each second passes and any chance at rational thinking is lost. Fact-based, open conversations are crucial for this election.

Dooce: What I and many of my more liberal friends want is to HELP people, not give them a free ride, but also not to ignore those who would benefit from us tossing them a life jacket.

Response: I agree with the fact that helping people is good. But, where I disagree with liberals is that the government needs to mandate how much, who, and when people are helped. It should be a choice for each person on how much he/she wants to spend, when, why, and how. If I want to give my money to a homeless pet shelter and you want to help young children with plagioceplacy, then that is great. We should be able to each do as we please with OUR MONEY. The government should not take my money and put it where the government wants to. And, just a random side note: Republicans, on average, give more money to charities than their democrat counterparts. So, it's really not a matter of whether or not to help people but rather how to help people in the most efficient and effective manner.

Dooce: I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a white, middle class family who could afford to send me to college, as did my husband, and we have enough work experience to run a business that makes it so that we can afford this insurance for our daughter.

Response: Fortunate enough? Or, is it better said that your parents made good decisions, you made good decisions, and now are you in a good financial position because of all of those smart moves? The key is to take responsibility for your own actions.

I know people who went to community colleges or worked hard for scholarships so that they could get an education. It was far from easy, but they took responsibility for themselves and their future. I also know people who came from good families but then made very bad decisions and are now working for much less than they should be.

That's what makes America so great - you can do or be whatever you want, you may just be required to supply a little elbow grease. Or a lot. There is no fortunate or unfortunate part to where a person ends up in life. It is up to a person to make good decisions, work hard, and capitalize on the cards he/she is dealt.

Dooce: But what about the family who cannot afford that insurance for their child?... If giving up more of my paycheck could help get this family adequate healthcare, then PLEASE. TAKE MY MONEY.

Response: The key word in that statement is "if". IF having more of your paycheck taken away meant better healthcare for all, that would be one thing. But it doesn't work like that. We need something different than just having the government take more tax dollars to implement a healthcare plan. I wish that I knew the answer. But, I don't. I do, however, know what is not the answer: Universal Healthcare. Obama's plan for Universal Healthcare is the reason that so many people travel here from other countries to pay 100% out of pocket to get the healthcare that they need.

The current healthcare system needs work, I agree with that. But Obama's plan is going to let the same people that work at the DMV make decisions about if, when, and which doctor may see Leta. Does that sound good to you?

Access to healthcare isn't improved
through this plan - insurance coverage does not equate to better access. I don't know about you, but I like the fact that competition drives improvements in healthcare.

The key is that higher taxes and universal healthcare are not the answers to helping families get insurance and healthcare. We have to work together to find the real solution. Afterall, when is the last time that the government created a more effective, more efficient, system than was able to be provided by the private sector?

Like I mentioned previously, it's not about this candidate or that party but it's about the meat behind the issues.

We have the same goals but differ on whether or not the government should be in charge of mandating the who, how, when, and why of the process.

Vote McCain & Palin 2008


Katie said...

uh oh Krista, you have me fired up. LOL. That is what is so great about friends....right? We can listen to each other and respect each other while offering different opinions. OK, so here is mine. LOL.

I do not care who you vote for b/c that is YOUR choice. I will make mine and you make yours.

What I DO care about is your view on the fortunate vs unfortunate people idea. YES, many people rise above their situations and make something of themselves. HOWEVER, have you ever gone to a homeless shelter and talked to the people there? Moms???? I have. Those moms, the ones I spoke with, WANT to work. BUT they have babies and kids who have to be taken care of. They cannot leave them unattended at the homeless shelter to go on an interview. Then if they DO find someone to watch their kiddos, what will they wear? Luckily in JAX we have a place called Dignity UWear that provides clothes just for that. OK, so now we have childcare and an outfit, when they do well o the interview and the employer says "How can I call you?" what can the person answer? "Well dusk to daylight I am in the turn-out shelter down the road. Call there and ask for me?" Nope, shelters do NOT direct calls. phone, no computer, no car, no clothes, no childcare but ambition? It is so hard. That is what I would consider an unfortunate situation. Not that McCain or Obama's ideas will fix that. I just wanted to open your eyes to those who may NOT be able to rise above their situation without help. This is why I choose to spend lots of my time downtown with the Junior League. It has helped me see that my views of "go out and get a job" were not so accurate. Hope you are not upset with me.

Love ya!

Dennis said...


You make some good points. There are lots of people that need help in all of the areas you mention above. Sure the lady at the homeless shelter w/ kids needs some help. However the decisions she's made in her life, not to sound too harsh, most likely put her in the situation she's in. Just as the decisions I've made have kept me out of homeless shelters and employed. of course there are always exceptions. I think Krista's point it should be OUR choice where OUR money goes. a perfect example is the Dignity Uwear organization. Obviously, this is a FANATASTIC organization that was created by a very giving INDIVIDUAL, not government.

Krista said...

Katie & Dennis - Thanks!

I definitely agree that people in some situations need help. A little bit of help. The gov's current system doesn't reward hard work, ambition, or going on job interviews.
I just don't think that the government should be in charge of administering help through higher taxes, etc. And, we shouldn't be forced to pay a lot of $$ out of our paycheck to a gov that will undoubtedly use the money in a not-so-efficient manner. So many times there are private companies, private organizations, etc., that do a much more efficient job of helping people. We should be able to choose where our hard earned money goes.
Whether to food, shelter, to help other people or to pay off student loans. Or a little bit of each.

Katie said...

I hope I did not offend either of you. I agree that I would like to choose where my money will I am NOT happy how my money is being spent right now. Dennis, I know Krista was just supporting her stance and I respect that. Don't get me wrong, my comments were not based on political views.....just something said in a political post. ;) Amd YES, LOTS of homeless/poor/etc. people are in their situation b/c of bad choices, etc. Those people annoy me and frustrate me b/c they take advantage of the system. It is those that had no choice (mom and dad made bad choices and drug them along....leaving them at 18 to fend for themselves, those who lost a spouse and no longer could pay the bills, those who lost everything in a storm (Katrina) and cannot get back on track, etc. Those are the ones I am referring to....the "unfortunate" ones. I wish MORE would CHOOSE to help but unfortunately not enough people give when they can. I guess that is something we all 3 can agree on. ;)

Krista said...

Katie - Don't worry b/c it's very hard to offend me. And I love this type of stuff - - it's good to see/hear things from other points of view. Keep the comments coming!!

I agree with you there are a lot of people out there taking advantage of the system and with a little help some of the people that are out there, trying to get better and move up, can do so with a little bit of help.

I am thinking outloud on you think that people tend to say Republicans are "out for themselves" and don't want to help people? I hope not b/c I don't think that's the case. I'm more of a libertarian myself, but since that is most similar to the republican point of view, I will say that I'm a republican for simplicity's sake.

I really think that everyone's (Rep's & Dem's) goals are the same but the means through which those goals are attempting to be attained differ. In my opinion, Dem's say "peace on earth" but then their plan to achive that is often through misguided gov programs, wasteful spending, and an inevitable huge tax burden. Obama's healthcare plan is terrifying! I would never want my children (or us!) to have to accept that type of medical care. That is just one more example where the "peace on earth" mentality takes over with a simple change of the tax rates but no evidence that the plan even works in other countries!

That's where my concern really comes in. We need specific plans, not just "peace on earth through raising taxes". Your thoughts? And, I am all for helping people other out - but I would like to choose how and when I give my money.

Dennis said...

Definitely no offense taken. I think it's good to have these conversations.

Katie said...

Good. I do not want to have to come there and kick your ass. ;)

Krista, let me educate myself more on the candidates healthcare beliefs and get back to you. I have been more interested in education/money/family/etc. I will let you know.

Katie said...

Have you read this?

Why do you say Obama's plan is terrifying? I am just curious. I know he used the term "universal healthcare" but from what I have read it does not seem like he is trying to choose our doctors or coverage. He is just supplying the 45 million who do not have coverage with coverage. Some of those include children born with diseases that keep them from being covered. That is terrifying to me. Obama says that if you have insurance coverage that you currently like, you may keep that. Yes....he will make doctors, hospitals and pharm. companies accountable and I see no problem with that. Working for a pharm company, I am interested in your feelings on: "Lower prescription drug costs. The second-fastest growing type of health expenses is prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies are selling the exact same drugs in Europe and Canada but charging Americans more than double the price. Obama will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S. Obama will also repeal the ban that prevents the government from negotiating with drug companies, which could result in savings as high as $30 billion. Finally, Obama will work to increase the use of generic drugs in Medicare, Medicaid, and FEHBP and prohibit big name drug companies from keeping generics out of markets".

I have honestly NOT decided who I will vote for. I am still researching and learning about BOTH candidates. I seem to agree more with Obama on issues such as education, women's right to choose, domestic violence, energy, and more. BUT this all comes after lots of time focusing on Obama. I am moving on to read more about McCain next week. I just know I do not like his Edu. plans and I am NOT a fan of Palin. But after all, it is the top of the ticket we vote for, right? Thanks for helping me get more informed.

Sorry for the really long comment. I should have just emailed. LOL. I am sure everyone is tired of reading my views.

Oh and I LOVE the idea of paid maternity leave. That was a luxury I did NOT have. I was not paid for the 6 weeks I recovered after Cooper. YUCK!

Krista said...

Katie, thanks for your comments.

I think it's great that you are doing your due dilligence with researching the candidates. Most people don't bother to do that.

Why do I think that Obama's plan is horrifying? Because it is government controlled. Working in the pharma world, it's amazing how many doctors are NOT accepting medicare anymore b/c there is (1) too much paper work (2) no ability to practice medicine since you are required to try, and fail product A, B, and C before you can even think of trying a new product with proven benefits, (3) the reimbursement is horrible, (4) the gov has control and can delay payment, services to the patient, etc., if an office fails to dot an "i" or cross a "t". The only time that gov't health care programs are great is when you are healthy.

"Free" is a very misleading part of the "Free Universal Healthcare plan" that Obama is suggesting. Higher income taxes are only one part of the equation. The gov't will tax the hell out of us. Sure, it'll only be on the "wealthy" individuals (those making more than $100K as an indiv or more than $250 as couple) and businesses, but all of that translates down to less money in our paycheck and higher costs all around. If oil companies are taxed at higher rates, that's great until the cost is passed down to the consumer. All of the sudden our costs for basic products like food, gas, etc., are skyrocketing. It's a bad, horrible cycle. Now we are bringing home less $$ and paying more for goods all around. All to pay for this "free" health plan. That is exactly what has happened in France!

Please take a peek at my post from several days ago that goes through the pros and cons of universal healthcare. Believe me, we do not want it.

Let's get back to one of the main problems: What does the gov do well and efficiently? I challenge anyone reading this to point out one place that the gov has done a better job than the private sector.

McCain's program suggests the following:
-higher competition among ins companies (you can get insurance from Missouri even if you live in Georgia) leading to improvements in price, service, etc.
-tax deductions for insurance premiums
-portability of ins from one job to another or after you leave a job
-looking for lower cost meds (that's another can of worms for a later discussion) and trying to make the healthcare env more cost efficient (PART OF WHAT MAKES THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY SO EXPENSIVE IS THE EXORBENT AMT OF $$ PAID IN INS & TAXES & REQ'S FROM THE GOV'T)
-He is going to create a GAP (Guaranteed access plan) for each state
-making sure people can get insurance even if they were previously "uninsurable"

I think it boils down to whether we want the gov't making our health decisions or if we want to make them. It boils down to whether we want to encourage innovation and competition or have the gov't stymie this by essentially being a "monopoly" and not rewarding people & companies for new, innovative, cost saving break through technology.

I will give up and say you are correct if you can seriously provide me one example of where the gov't has done anything better than the private sector. Just one example.

What is comes down to is this;
-Where has the gov't EVER done something better than in the private sector?
-Would you agree competition drives the American desire to be better, make better, less expensive products? If so, why would we take that away and give all control to the gov't, who will make decisions for YOU and for ME based solely on the cost to them.

Josh M. said...

"KRistA IZ a NAZI! Go kill a polar bear, fascist!"

"KatIe is a PiNKo! CommiE!"

Seeing all that friendly political back-and-forth was making me sick. Had to even it out a little.

Krista said...

Katie, sorry, I got a little distracted from one of your questions about whether or not Obama is planning on a universal healthcare disaster for us...

Dennis said...

Paid paternity leave!? Seriously? I am sorry but what a terrible idea. We already eward people with a bigger welfare check for having babies. Just think of all those minimum wage and low income earners with there legs spread knowing they'll get another check for getting knocked up. Oh yeah, and WE get to pay for that. Really, really bad idea.

Krista said...

last blurb of comparison...

Barack Obama is looking to rely mostly on the heavy hand of the government and will impose caps on health care premiums and price controls on drug companies. He would then have the government establish national practice standards for health providers and doctors. The National Health Insurance Exchange, another plan he wants to create, will act as a sort of clearinghouse to make it easier for individuals and businesses to shop around for the best health care.

On the other hand, John McCain is looking to attempt promotion of greater competition among health insurance companies, allowing rates to fall from the growing competition across state lines (without any use of the government’s power). The purpose of the plan is allow freedom of choice and puts Americans in the position to insist on lower costs for higher quality, just as we do with any other product or service we purchase.

tm said...

You know I never talk about politics, but I enjoy hearing everyone's opinions. I love that everyone is so passionate about the issues and it is good that everyone is talking about it (although I stay mum). In the words of Michael Minihan and very fitting to this topic...let's agree to disagree. I shared your blog with one of Kahn and I's best friends...these entries and discussions will be very interesting to him. I'll send you his blog too because I know you will enjoy reading his entries on politics and life.

Martyn Oliver said...

Hey Krista (and Dennis),

I'm Trish and Kahn's friend Martyn that she mentioned in her comment. Certainly do find your thoughts interesting, even if I disagree with much of them--thanks for posting!

One thing I would ask, in all the hoopla about taxes and healthcare (which is a sticky wicket, to be sure), when you say you want to decide what you pay for, who decides about and pays for roads? Or national defense? Or education? Would you agree that sometimes it is best for a government to use taxes for purposes that are beyond charity? Or, should absolutely everything be privatized, roads, education and military included?

Just curious--this question is often the difference between a "republican" and a libertarian point of view.

By the by, my own blog is --would certainly welcome your visit and thoughts!

Krista said...

Martyn-Thanks for your post! I appreciate your comments.

I think that taxes are for things like roads, education, and military. Things that should largely be decided on a state level and are already embedded in American's minds as what they pay taxes for. Taxes are a necessary evil - - to a certain extent. We already pay a large portion of our income in taxes and some of that is going towards the gov't health plans like medicare and medicaid, which are lackluster at best. The gov't has already proven that it cannot manage healthcare in an efficient way. Why give them an even larger hand in our lives, choices, and wallets?

The thing is that I don't trust the gov't to use my hard earned money in an efficient manner. So while I think that there is some need for taxes, I would rather give $$ to a private organization who is driven by competition to lower prices, offer new & innovative products, and do much more with that money. Especially when it comes to my health. And your health.

Can you provide one example of where the gov't has done something more efficiently than the private sector?

How do you view it?

Josh M. said...

"Or, should absolutely everything be privatized, roads, education and military included?"


Dennis said...

let's not forget that McCain's healthcare plan covers the old, young, poor, etc as well. also,

Martyn Oliver said...


My first thought is that we should make this a more formal conversation outside of the comment box!

My second thought is that healthcare is really not my speciality, so I wouldn't want to go too far in any claims.

That said, I do know of reports (and can get links) that find that Medicaid is the MOST efficient system of healthcare in the US--far more so than any private plan. So that's one example (though I'm sure that too could be debated--on both sides, people play fast and loose with money figures).

I also know this (again, can provide links)--the US spends more per capita on healthcare than ANY other nation on earth. We don't have "universal" access to health care meaning many people go without preventive care until its too late, and then end up in emergency rooms. We have the most advanced medical care in the world (to your point earlier, very true), but its only available to those who can afford it. My question is, if we have the BEST healthcare, and spend the MOST money, why can we not also cover our citizens?

Part of the problem is, as a society, we tend to care more for "individuals" (that is, I care about myself, you care about yourself) and not as much for our population. Thus, we've got crazy cosmetic surgery industries, and also people who've never been to the dentist. That's nuts.

Second, through taxes and insurance premiums (mostly the later, which one COULD call a tax--think about that), the US ends up underwriting medical R&D, which is then used by other countries. In effect, we pay for the development of technologies that Germany and China get to use for free. Is that how you want your taxes spent? Just askin'!

Really, though, I think we could have a more formal conversation about all this via our blogs--want in?

Dennis said...

"Part of the problem is, as a society, we tend to care more for "individuals" (that is, I care about myself, you care about yourself) and not as much for our population. "

I don't see that as a problem at all. "individuals" have made this country great.

Neil Boortz perfectly explains it here: (i got this as a graduation gift from a friend and the older I get, the more true it is)

"Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.

Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses. "

Dennis said...

we could go around in circles forever on this. So, I will agree to disagree and leave everyone w/ one final truth:

No one in in this country has a right to the following:
1. Healthcare
2. Purchase a house
3. A Job

It is up to the individual to make the correct choices in his/her life to be able to have each of those things, not the government.

Martyn Oliver said...


Point well taken--i didn't mean to imply that Conservatives don't care (though David Frum, a conservative, recently wrote in the NYTimes about this issue and said there does seem to be an issue with how the current administration has overseen a widening gap between rich and poor that is problematic).

My point was that, in America, land of liberty, we are always negotiating between individual rights and group rights. And, I don't think it unreasonable to say that there needs to be a balance. I'm not a socialist--I'm a midwestern pragmatist. For example, if I were a small business owner, I would want my taxes low, but I would also want a solid public education system to educate my (future) employees, decent infrastructure so people could get to my business, a healthcare system that didn't financially overburden me but also kept my workers (and family!) healthy--so they could be productive!

I didn't mean to disparage individual rights. Rather, I was making the point that there is a middle space. Perhaps as a libertarian you'd tend more in one direction myself, but I think the reality is that there must be a healthy balance. Problems happen when the balance gets out of whack--which is why the lack of affordable healthcare is such a hot-button issue today.


Meimi said...

Krista said...

Hey again! Sorry, I was away from my computer all day.

Just some thoughts on how the "gov" is developing drugs "for other countries"....and how/why I don't want the "gov" to be in charge of developing new medicines...

§ Vast majority of new medicines are discovered and developed by the pharmaceutical industry, not by the government.
o What, exactly is the role of the National Institutes of Health, or the NIH, in developing new medicines? The NIH provides leadership & financial support to researchers in every state & throughout the world. More than 83% of the NIH’s funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state & around the world. About 10% of the NIH’s budget supports projects conducted by nearly 6,000 scientists in its own laboratories.
o Pharmaceutical industry spends $39 billion a year on Research & Development whereas the NIH spends only $28 billion (2004 data)
o Of the top 50 selling medicines in the US, only four has been developed in part with technologies created by NIH funding.

Martyn Oliver said...

Hey Krista,

Actually, I think your point about the money pharma spends on R&D is EXACTLY what I was saying. We, the American consumer, spends money to develop these drugs (partly through cost of medicine and insurance to Pharma), and partly through taxes (NIH or whomever). Either way, WE pay to develop these drugs--and the rest of the world gets the fruits of our labors (and benefit of our dollars). Is there any drug on the market today that was developed outside of the US?

Thus, all the money we pour into healthcare is actually a subsidy for the rest of the world--a bailout, if you will. Are we cool with that? What would you rather do, produce pharma products for the Dutch, or make sure you're neighbor's kid gets her vaccines?

Also, I know Dennis and I could have a longer conversation about liberty, the individual, and rights, but I want to take it back to my first point--according to a number of studies I've read, Medicaid is more efficient than private health programs. Thoughts?

As another example, I would say the US govt. does a better job at military affairs than do private contractors--more ethically and more cost-efficiently. Compare Blackwater and the US Marine Corps. This is, I think, another example of govt. doing a job better than what private industry can.

I'm enjoying this conversation--I hope you are too!

Katie said...

Man, I missed A LOT!

I started posting this the other day and had to stop b/c the kids needed me.

I would argue that EDUCATION has been done better by the government than the private sector! Did you go to public school? Our taxes pay for public school......a right avaliable to EVERY child in the US. Yes, you can choose to go to private school BUT public school is avaliable. No, it may not be as amazing and cover as much as the private school down the street BUT you are covered in the education dept. I relate this to Obama's insurance idea. Yes, you CAN CHOOSE to continue your private health insurance OR you can take advantage of the government's program. Yours may be better and for that, you will pay above and private school. I have heard people complain about paying high taxes in a nice area with good schools but at the end of the day, it is THEIR choice to spend more of their money on a private school and everyone just knows that b/c it has always been like this...since we remember. It works! Yes, we have problems: high drop-out rates, kid's falling through the cracks, low test scores, teacher burn-out, violence and crime in schools....etc. BUT it is better to have the majority of our children educated in some fashion than leave them on the streets to fend for themselves. Can you just imagine the violence, poverty, etc. then? Wouldn't it be better to provide healthcare to everyone so we do not have sick people roaming our streets, passing things, etc. Wouldn't it be better to treat that young, poor kid....maybe the one who is holding the cure for cancer? If we leave these people not-insured and without heathcare......we are making a mistake. In my opinion. You think if we continue on our current path (which I see McCain's plan as but with fancy words and fluffy ideas to just take what we have and fluff it a little), it will not affect you negetively in the financial dept. Is that all you are worried about? Everything seems to come back as "taxes", "more money", etc. You can continue to choose your docs, your insurance, etc. if you want.....just like choosing schools. Just MORE people will be our current public education program. So maybe we should follow the same idea as the one you so support in regrads to heathcare and take away all government control for education. If you CAN pay for school, great. If not, then too bad. What will happen then?

This is SO much larger than Katie, Dennis, Krista, etc. This is OUR future. Our kid's future! The world is a different place than it was 10 years ago. Plans put in place when we were younger NEED to be re-evaluated and maybe adjusted. Obviously the current situation is NOT working.

Oh and I loved the above comment about drugs developed in other countries. I bet a TON of them were but I have no facts on that.....YET!

Katie said...

Dennis, you said:
"we could go around in circles forever on this. So, I will agree to disagree and leave everyone w/ one final truth:

No one in in this country has a right to the following:
1. Healthcare
2. Purchase a house
3. A Job"

I am sorry but that is not a "truth" it is your opinion. Purchasing a house and obtaining a job are CHOICES someone can make. Healthcare should NOT be a choice, it should be a right.....just like education. I am so glad you and Krista are doing well now and can afford this stuff. I would hate for times to change......I think you would regret your feelings.

Dennis said...

Nowhere in our Constitution are your given a right to own a house, right to healthcare, or right to a job. sorry. It's up to YOU to make the right decisions in your life, work hard and get those things should you choose. I'm definitely not saying that the healthcare system in this country is working. it's obviously not. I'm just saying that more Government isn't the answer. again, to quote Boortz (sorry to keep using his quotes but he just phrases it beautifully): "you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof."
Also, the reason we save, invest, etc is so that if things were to ever change, we wouldn't have to rely on government to bail us out. Basically, we all agree on what needs to happen in this country but disagree on how to get there.

Martyn Oliver said...

'Tis true that there is no right in the Constitution for healthcare, housing, or employment. In fact, all the Constitution offers is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Most of our rights are spelled out, well, in the Bill of Rights.

That said, what is life without a home? what is liberty without health? What is the pursuit of happiness without the means to attain it?

Not to be misunderstood, I'm not trying to make an exact comparison or say govt. should automatically provide these things (that would be socialism or communism). What I am saying is that it seems to me to be in the interest of the nation, and in a more noble pursuit of the ideals upon which our nation was founded, to recognize that these things are interrelated. The founders did not prescribe a solution, they articulated an ideal. It would be a better nation if all had homes--as I see it, the role of govt. is to remove road blocks to achieving these goals. (like outlawing racial discrimination when applying for a home loan)

One example: providing healthcare for veterans who served our nation overseas and return home too physically and psychologically disabled to care for themselves. WE OWE them. That's not the role of charity--that's government, a collective duty and responsibility.

On a historical note, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were cribbed from John Locke, though his formula was life, liberty and the ownership of property. The founders changed the language b/c our system of slavery did not want to allow slaves to own property. That's true.

On a cultural note, Janis Joplin makes an interesting point: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

On a national note--take time to remember today.

Katie said...

"You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof."

Does the same apply to teachers? Teachers are still paid for their services. Just not nearly compensated to the extent they are doctors. Isn't it so nice that Obama has a plan to compensate QUALITY teachers that go above and beyond? I sure hope that plan goes into effect before my children enter school. I will be really happy to have a teacher doing her best for that extra bonus. I was never that lucky....however I still worked hard to be the best teacher ever, definitely NOT the norm.

Krista said...

I would never say that our current public education system is a success. Given the choice, nearly EVERY ONE would send their child to private school. i know that I would! McCain's plan for a voucher system encourages COMPETITION - which drives better products, better educations, etc. - rather than guaranteeing the sub par product that is available most everywhere. Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule - and there are many AMAZING teachers out there. Those teachers should be rewarded and the others - like those that participated in the public school that recently lost it's accrediation in S Atlanta - may need to find another job or another profession. That's life and it's good b/c it gets rid of the waste - - the only unfortunate thing is that the kids that were going to that gov't school got screwed in the whole deal. The voucher system would allow you to "take" your tax dollars to any school and send your child there. Now that's a helluva idea rather than just more of that same. If y'all want to keep giving more and more and more tax dollars then please feel free. But, your decision should not affect me or my money. I pay enough taxes already and think that the programs where they are being spent - medicaid included - are much less efficient & less effective than what private organizations can provide.

Don't we have a form of "universal" healthcare now? I mean, seriously - Medicaid and Medicare? Most of the MD's that I call on REFUSE to take Medicare because it is not worth their time, i.e., they don't make any money. Y'know what, profitability is a BIG motive and one that I would argue is one of the most important drivers of new products. Obama's plan will def include more taxes, and "putting restrictions" on MD's - are you kidding me? That is horrible! I agree that our current system needs to be reworked but the infertility treatments that I am gong through right now are 99% "off label" but the MD has seen them work in her practice in the past. So, now Obama and his clan have a MD after their names and they get to decide that my doctor, whom I pay 100% to see, can or cannot prescribe a therapy for me? I think not. I am paying for it and as soon as he starts mandating this or mandating that in the healthcare industry, it's all over. People CAN get healthcare now. An ER is not allowed to turn anyone away. There is Medicaid, etc. And there are options for people to pursue, too, to create a better life for themselves but it's not my job to pay for them while they have baby after baby, take their welfare check and cash it, etc. I support helping people get a start and then it's up to them.

Back to Medicaid - I woudl argue that it is possibly an EFFICIENT but hardly an EFFECTIVE treatment regime. The offices that I call on that accept Medicaid are falling to pieces (b/c they can't afford to fix the place since THE GOV'T doesn't pay and mandates the MD's every move, which in itself, will drive smart people out of the medical profession). The patients are not "better" off b/c you know what - they have to take RESPONSIBILITY for themselves to schedule an appt and they don't even want to do that! So, should the gov't go to each persons house and ask them what day is best for them, make an appt, and then drive them there?
Everyone can get healthcare now and regardless which candidate wins, there will be changes for the better. McCains program is "fluff" as much as Obama's plan is "right" for America. I mean, if people want more gov't control, why not move to one of the other nations with sub-par medical care? I think our society would be better off without people consistently wanting their hands held.

Krista said...

correction to the above (last couple sentences):

REgardless which candidate wine, there will be changes. (not necc for the better)

I want to live a peaceful, perfect world, too, but it's not real life. We are currently doing more than enough for most of the "poor" people in America. (BTW, do you know that the difference b/w the "top" income earners and the "bottom" is becoming less and less (per the IRS, comparing the last 10 yrs)? The gov't is effectively redistributing our wealth. Where are they given that right? In the Constitution? I think not.)

Krista said...

Last comment: Medicaid encourages MD's to the bare minimum. They get paid a certain amt no matter what (and it's usu very little) so they just follow the outlined protocol. This is not something bright, innovative, young people will want to pursue - especially if you only make a salary. They'll have the same level of motivation as the people at the DMV do to move you along. They get paid the same regardless, so why hustle? Why improve? The gov't is gonna pay them the same either way.
Medicaid has not helped to better treat patients and prevent disease. Patients can only get med's based solely on how cheap they are. Companies usu lose money if they deal with the gov't and have their product available on medicaid. Why don't you do the gov't program, let them mandate when/how/why you can go and tell you that you can't use the current meds that are available - and possibly have more efficacy, more safety - b/c they aren't on the formulary. Instead, you can take subpar medicine 3 times a day and then have surgery in a few months.
Medicaid does not encourage routine checks, adherence to medicine, or better outcomes. BECAUSE patients still have to be accountable for themselves.

Krista said...

my last comment for this post b/c i'm getting obsessed...,0,2227144.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

Universal healthcare's dirty little secrets

Patients in countries that provide government insurance often experience hurdles to care such as extremely long waitlists.

By Michael Tanner and Michael Cannon, MICHAEL TANNER is director of health and welfare studies and MICHAEL CANNON is director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute.

April 5, 2007
AS THEY TACK left and right state by state, the Democratic presidential contenders can't agree on much. But one cause they all support — along with Republicans such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and California's own Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — is universal health coverage. And all of them are wrong.

What these politicians and many other Americans fail to understand is that there's a big difference between universal coverage and actual access to medical care.

Simply saying that people have health insurance is meaningless. Many countries provide universal insurance but deny critical procedures to patients who need them. Britain's Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 900,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals, and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment. In a 2005 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote that "access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare."

Supporters of universal coverage fear that people without health insurance will be denied the healthcare they need. Of course, all Americans already have access to at least emergency care. Hospitals are legally obligated to provide care regardless of ability to pay, and although physicians do not face the same legal requirements, we do not hear of many who are willing to deny treatment because a patient lacks insurance.

You may think it is self-evident that the uninsured may forgo preventive care or receive a lower quality of care. And yet, in reviewing all the academic literature on the subject, Helen Levy of the University of Michigan's Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured, and David Meltzer of the University of Chicago, were unable to establish a "causal relationship" between health insurance and better health. Believe it or not, there is "no evidence," Levy and Meltzer wrote, that expanding insurance coverage is a cost-effective way to promote health. Similarly, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year found that, although far too many Americans were not receiving the appropriate standard of care, "health insurance status was largely unrelated to the quality of care."

Another common concern is that the young and healthy will go without insurance, leaving a risk pool of older and sicker people. This results in higher insurance premiums for those who are insured. But that's only true if the law forbids insurers from charging their customers according to the cost of covering them. If companies can charge more to cover people who are likely to need more care — smokers, the elderly, etc. — then it won't make any difference who does or doesn't buy insurance.

Finally, some suggest that when people without health insurance receive treatment, the cost of their care is passed along to the rest of us. This is undeniably true. Yet, it is a manageable problem. According to Jack Hadley and John Holahan of the left-leaning Urban Institute, uncompensated care for the uninsured amounts to less than 3% of total healthcare spending — a real cost, no doubt, but hardly a crisis.

Everyone agrees that far too many Americans lack health insurance. But covering the uninsured comes about as a byproduct of getting other things right. The real danger is that our national obsession with universal coverage will lead us to neglect reforms — such as enacting a standard health insurance deduction, expanding health savings accounts and deregulating insurance markets — that could truly expand coverage, improve quality and make care more affordable

As H. L. Mencken said: "For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, elegant, and wrong." Universal healthcare is a textbook case.

Katie said...

From McCain's website:

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion - the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby.

Sounds to me like McCain is going to try and control this decision. I have a hard time with that as well.

Katie said...

I could go on ALL day. But I will stop now b/c I do not want you to hate me. We just disagree on our next president!

John McCain has opposed "waiting periods" for law abiding citizen's purchase of firearms.

Super, so that poor guy with no healthcare coverage, etc. can now go to the gun store...find a gun and take it away with him RIGHT now and go kill me. GREAT!

Dennis said...

don't worry Katie. we will love you no matter your political views. btw, a law abiding citizen isn't going to kill you. that would make them a non law abiding citizen. also, the gang bangers and people committing gun violence aren't registering for weapons in the first place and certainly not dealing w/ a waiting period. the go to a back ally and purchase non registered guns immediately. I agree their should be a waiting period but if it were up to the libs, none of us would be able to own guns at all.

Krista said...

interesting ideas