Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Healthcare Rebuttal

Similar to a post I put on Twitter/Facebook today a friend of mine posted this, "would like to know what is so wrong with Universal Health Care. If it is good enough for the soldiers that defend your life and their families than why is it not good enough for you?"
One of her friends responded and below is my rebuttal to her response. Her responses are in quotes and bold.

"The military doesn't have universal health care."
The definition of universal health care is "A government-sponsored system that ensures health care coverage for all regardless of income level or employment status." Under this definition the military does in fact have universal health care. Everyone receives it regardless of rank or pay grade and it is provided by the government.

"It is too expensive - we are broke"
Many countries with greater debt and lower GDP have government health care systems. This is the exact reason that I never had health care growing up and only went to the doctor when it was an emergency all while hoping my parents could make payments on the high ER bill because "It is too expensive and we are broke." It cost them more money in the long run.

"Why don't they PROVE they can eliminate waste in those programs FIRST before they make it even worse."
Look at all the fraud and waste in the current "private" health care system that isn't ran by the government. Have you ever looked at your health care statement? Amazing how the price it would have cost you out of pocket is incredibly less than what the insurance company actually paid. Why should the services cost different for you than for your insurance company? It shouldn't. Also, why should you be denied care for an illness you know you have when you most need insurance just because you already have the illness? Also, any program, including the military, is always going to have examples of fraud, waste and abuse. We as Americans have shown ourselves to be greedy and willing to take shortcuts especially if we feel we are "stickin' it to the man."

"The wealthy will be the ones paying for everyone's "free" health care."
I don't understand why everyone wants to protect the wealthy? We are all Americans and we are all getting our piece of the pie. If we all have to contribute our share and you are getting a larger piece of pie then shouldn't your responsibilty be larger?

"Tax payer dollars should not go to fund abortions"
I imagine that this is really the reason most people who are opposed to universal health care are opposed to it. But your tax dollars that fund the military health insurance also allow for abortions when "medically necessary." Also, the current health care bill that will visit Congress this week has left an amendment in place called the Hyde amendment which states, "affordability credits are not used for purposes of paying for [abortion] services."

"Mandating coverage for every American is unconstitutional!"
Here is a copy of the constitution:
Where does it say that requiring health insurance coverage for every citizen is prohibited? We require other forms of insurance yet that isn't unconstitutional.

"If you are not covered by an approved plan you will be fined! Employers who do not provide approved plans will be fined!"
You currently are required by law to own car insurance and if you don't have car insurance you are fined, lose your driving privileges or are sent to jail. No one has a problem with this.

"It will result in rationed care - when America is bankrupt and 50% of doctors quit like they are threatening to do - our quality of care WILL decrease!"
In the same survey of doctors it was summarized that 96% of them want this health care reform. As a math teacher I tell my students to make sure to use their data in context and make sure all data supports itself.

"If universal health care is so wonderful why do so many Canadians and Europeans come here for treatment?"
I have quite a few friends who are Canadian and they all think Americans are silly for not having health care for all. They think we have our priorities on war and destruction as opposed to healing. Here is an article debunking Canadian healthcare myths:

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