Healthcare in the US – Perspective from both sides of the Aisle

While on Facebook, I recently came in contact with a friend of a friend (yes, I don’t know this person), who has political views somewhat different from my own.

We began talking about Public healthcare in America via private message, and decided that we could gain some new perspective from one another by learning about ‘the opposition’ from the opposition. We’ve had a friendly conversation thus far over facebook, and I thought I’d provide our commentary here. I don’t provide any of this information for ridicule. It’s informational, as it provides insight into both sides of the debate.

What is provided below is unedited. I can’t speak for the other party, but as for me, mine was written quickly. It may not be as articulate as it could be, but I feel it gets the point across.

Updates will occur on this thread as our Facebook conversation progresses:

For public healthcare:
I want an affordable, accessible healthcare system for all citizens of the United States. It is not affordable for uninsured people to go to the emergency room if they have a medical problem. they usually default on their bill which drives up medical costs.

I don’t think private insurance should go by the wayside but, I agree with Obama that there needs to be competition to keep them from overcharging consumers and doctors. Even in this recession, the “earnings” for insurance companies are still rising. Not Acceptable.

Here in Washington, we have a state insurance plan that people can use that is inexpensive but not always accessible because there are only so many spots available and when they’re gone , they’re gone. This year due to budget cuts, many people lost coverage. If we had the ability to get into the system for government employees that Obama talked about in his campaign speeches, medical costs would go down just because people would not be using the emergency room as a clinic.

Why are you against a public healthcare system?

Against public healthcare:
I’m against a public healthcare system that is pieced together using money we don’t have on bill’s we haven’t read with provisions that are unconstitutional.

The government shouldn’t be allowed to create competition in a marketplace. Since the government has free-range access to an unlimited amount of money, they can borrow, borrow and borrow, offering services at a fraction of the cost a real company can. this creates an unfair marketplace in which the government will undoubtedly quickly drive private carriers out of business.

It’s nice that Obama uses talking points and phrases like “There will still be private insurance available for those who want it…” and “we don’t want to remove or replace the existing private insurance”. Unfortunately, the bill’s he’s attempting to have passed (which, by the way, he hasn’t read. I can back this up.) don’t reflect his spoken position.

However, what if the plan were implimented AS the Obama administration says it is (not as the bill is drafted, which is much, much worse). How is one more option (A goverment health plan) going to increase competition enough to lower costs? There are hundreds if not thousands of independent healthcare providers in the United States. If it’s not going to create unfair, unmatchable competition, then it’ll just be one more competitor with no power to drive down costs.

You mentioned that in Washington (If you’re talking about State, I used to live near *****) people are being dropped from the state sponsored plan due to budget cuts. As the legislation is written, it is financially unsustainable. Especially as time goes on, the plan grows, and so do it’s participants. Budget cuts will either toss people from the plan, or they’ll simply have to dump the plan completely. Are we not in the same position when it comes to Social Security?

I also agree that medical costs are ridiculous. I just don’t feel that creating a government bureaucracy is the most adequate solution to that problem.

The United States actually already offers a government run healthcare system to Veterans. And as you may or may not be aware (It depends on whether you have family in the military, I’d imagine), the VA is a complete and total mess.

The US has demonstrated that it is currently unable to administrate a successful public healthcare system for a small group of citizens who, in my opinion, DESERVE that care.

Do we make an effort to correct that broken system? No. Do we mention how we will integrate that existing system into this new, proposed healthcare system? No.

So, I become confused when people tell me they support the President in his current Agenda.

I can appreciate a person finding a public healthcare system to be a desirable thing. But a reasonable person should be able to say: “You know, I want this. Unfortunately, the way they’re going about it is wrong. It’s going to hurt people. They’re rushing it, it’s expensive, they have no way to pay for it, it exploits my freedoms and honestly, it’s just not the way it should be. even though I support the concept, I can’t support the president in taking yet more shortcuts that will only hurt us in the long run”.

Unfortunately, supporters of Public Health can’t do that. They want their fix, and they want it now, even if it’s broken, because “it’s a start”. But any genuinely politically aware person should know that things put into law in the United States don’t get fixed. They only get worse over time, not better.

In my opinion, supporters of public healthcare should take a step back and determine whether or not the costs (figurative and literal) of this program is worth the benefit, despite it’s excessive and even dangerous flaws.

Comments Welcome
Last updated 9:34 MST 7/28/2009