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Sun Mar 12, 2017, 12:04 PM

The Health Care Debate Is About Values

At its best, that's what government is. We can't build our own roads, so we pool our resources to build them together. Same with schools, public safety, national defense. We invest in science and arts as a society because they are investments in our own humanity.

Why not do the same with health care? We literally can't live without it. So why shouldn't it be a responsibility for us as a society to see people get the health care they need?

The ACA didn't get us there. But those were the values behind the effort: a shared responsibility to ensure people had decent health care coverage. The individual mandate wasn't just the necessary keystone that held the system in place; it was also a symbol of that shared responsibility.

The Republican proposal, the AHCA, represents exactly the opposite values. Instead of distributing responsibility to ensure coverage to as many people as possible, it would rob millions of care. It would shrink spending on Medicaid. Cut subsidies and raise rates on seniors. Take away rules that make insurance more effective. And it would put the entire individual insurance market at risk of collapse by keeping the popular parts of Obamacare like requiring companies to cover people with preexisting conditions while eliminating the individual mandate, which made those provisions possible.

Conservatives are always yelling about not compromising their values ... neither should we.

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Reply The Health Care Debate Is About Values (Original post)
PsychoBabble Mar 2017 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2017 #1
PsychoBabble Mar 2017 #2
flamingdem Mar 2017 #3

Response to PsychoBabble (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 12:40 PM

1. It's that "free-market" ideology they are so fanatical about.

GOPers, especially those of the Ryan ilk, believe in the "free market" to the point of fanaticism. It's like a religion to them. They believe that every aspect of society should be subject to the "free market," and they believe this as absolutely as Christians believe in the Resurrection. The Resurrection can't be proved scientifically, but Christians believe it anyhow, as an article of faith. In fact, the fact that it can't be explained and that it happened only that one time sort of proves its miraculous nature, which in a rather circular manner supports that faith.

Likewise, Ryanites believe in the unprovable miracle of the free market. But while the Resurrection can't be proved, it hasn't ever actually been disproved either (although its extreme unlikelihood, given the basic rules of biology and physics, is certainly demonstrable). The claimed absolute perfection of free-market economics, in contrast, has been regularly disproved. Reagan's "trickle-down" economics doesn't work. We've seen proof of that over and over. For one thing, there's no such thing as a free market; the marketplace has rules that even Ryanites accept, such as the court system. Most federal litigation involves businesses vs. businesses in which a party is seeking, for example, to enforce or avoid a contract or protect intellectual property. The free market has its own acknowledged rules, so it's not really "free."

And some things can't be managed by a free market at all. No sane insurance executive would go into the business of insuring sick old people because it would be too expensive to provide coverage, and therefore nobody could afford to pay the premiums. This is precisely why we have Medicare. The alternative of just letting people go broke and/or die was, at least for some, completely unacceptable, but because this group of people is effectively uninsurable in a free insurance market, the government stepped in. The ACA was an attempt to remain within a free-ish market system (because it was politically impossible to get a far-superior single-payer system past the GOP) but still make insurance affordable for most people, using government subsidies.

There is simply no way for Ryan's free market to make affordable health insurance available to everyone who needs it. Insurance, by its very nature, is pure socialism: Everybody pays into a pool for the future possible needs of everyone, but some people will never need the benefits while others will. It is this very un-free-market nature of universal coverage that the Ryanites hate because it contradicts their deeply held religious belief in the free market that doesn't exist. The cruel results of this rigid belief as applied to health insurance is unimportant because, like so many religions, adherence to the core belief is more important than anything else.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 12:44 PM

2. Beautifully argued.

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Response to PsychoBabble (Original post)

Sun Mar 12, 2017, 01:09 PM

3. Not really about values, about tax cuts for the super wealthy

donors of the GOP, plus fulfilling the Obama hate promises of the last 8 years.

That is clear because repeal will only cost us, something they're claiming it won't, by overwhelming hospitals etc

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