Since I wear my heart and my opinions on my sleeve, most people probably already know that I am not a fan of Obama or Obama Care. There are many reasons for this, most related to the fact that I believe the Judeo Christian values this country was founded on, and which even the non-religious Founding Fathers respected and endorsed, are being lost. Obama seems to be proponent of things which move us further from that, so I don't like him and I don't like other Liberals with those leanings. It has absolutely nothing to do with race. I rejoice with our country that we finally have a long overdue black President. I just wish it was a different one.
That being said, my issues with Obama Care are more complicated. I believe we need to lower the cost of health care, and I believe the chief culprits for it being out of control are drug companies and insurance companies. Having recently had to deal with both closely as my wife was hospitalized and has required long term medication, and having seen my dad deal with them for over 40 years as a physician, I have had a front row seat to their antics. The people who are executives at these firms are some of the richest in the world, let there be no doubt. They sit up there raking in profits while enjoying making us squirm by making it as expensive to buy their products (drug cos) and difficult to get insurance to pay for as they can.
At the same time, they put out drugs with serious side effects when they know how to make them without them. The samples drug reps give doctors which they sometimes give to you to try out, for example. Ever wonder why those don't give you side effects? Because they are pure, and the ones they sell you are filtered down with additives. This way they can claim to sell you the same product while manufacturing it more cheaply. And this is perfectly ethical and approved by the FDA. So gee, the government should take over health care, huh? Yeah, the government will do it better than they did before, sure.
Insurance companies love red tape. They love to come up with all kinds of small print rules which make it difficult to get your meds on time, etc. My wife was running out of a very serious medication and they said we had to wait seven more days for a refill. I had to pay $16 per pill to get the pills we needed to tide her over. All of this because the doctor had changed her perscription dosage mid-month. The insurance company gave me the run around over several phone calls. I wasted probably four hours of my time with them and more with the pharmacy before someone finally explained the truth. And these are people I pay a lot of money to annually for services. If I ran my business like they do, I'd be bankrupt, yet here we are, allowing them to offer bad service to the public while raising premiums every year.
So, I do think we need to regulate insurance and drug companies. That's where Health Care Reform starts for me. As far as the indigent and uninsured, I think we should have a public health care plan anyone without insurance is required to use. I think they should also be assessed copays based on income requirements, since some uninsured people just don't have it because they choose not to, rather than because they're poor. Rich people, for example, don't see the need because they are rich. Fine, let them go to public hospitals and wait in line with the rest of the uninsured. We need to have a plan for the uninsured, no doubt, because that also contributes to rising costs, but not at the expense of giving the government control of private medical decisions for those of us who pay thousands a year for insurance.
A friend in England tweeted me recently to say how sad he was to see the US moving toward government health care. He's dealt with it all his life in England and said now that he needs more serious treatment, he's not allowed because the government doesn't want to pay. So he is stuck getting sub-par treatment from government health care. Does that really sound better to you? I think a lot of these pro-Obama Care people will find themselves facing such frustrations. And I have no doubt they'll be calling the system biased or racist or discriminatory when they do. Even though, if they just did research, they'd realize this kind of thing is what they asked for.
As for the socialism claim, socialism is defined as follows by dictionary.com: "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole." Isn't that what we are doing when we give control of health care to the government? So why are the Dems crying out at the unfairness of calling it "socialism," when it fits the definition?
And if we allow the government to control one thing, soon they will want to control another. It's amusing to me that a party which loves to complain about "intolerance" are so intolerant of those who disagree with them. What I've found over they years is that most people who call others "intolerant" don't want tolerance, they want agreement. If you don't agree with them, you're intolerant.
We seem to have lost respect for free speech, a value which has made this country one of the most successful and most admired in the world. Or used to. When people see abortion clinics bombed, government officials threatened, people wanting to declare themselves independent of the government--among other ridiculous responses I've seen to health care--why would they admire us? We don't even respect free speech in practice when we do things like that. Who would want to live in a country with citizens who can't handle the government doing things they don't like? Citizens of most other countries deal with that all the time. They don't need to come here where people get so riled up by it, they act like spoiled children.
We also seem to have forgotten that we have a lot more in common than different. We all want health, happiness, security, stability. If we really want what we say we want, we should do a better job of working together to find solutions which can really provide that for all of us. Would it take compromise? Of course. How do you think the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written? Ou Founding Fathers' writings reveal they didn't always agree, but they acted together to hash out a compromise to serve the betterment of the nation, and, in the process, founded one of the most successful nations on earth, one most other countries admire in one way or another or have.
We have forgotten the principles on which this country was founded and what they require of us. Our quest for "me first" individualism has led us to become so self-centered, we only want what we want and forget about everyone else. Our current political and social climate are evidence of this, and if we don't honestly admit it and start making changes, America won't be America any more.
For what it's worth...