“ No one should suffer because they can’t afford health care. No one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, consider posting this as your status for the rest of the day”
This is the status post of several of my good friends on Facebook. It has been interesting to note the viral spread of this post which I assume has to do with healthcare reform. The posters have been mostly liberal-minded friends. I’ve tried to sympathize, but the more I see it, the angrier I get.
It’s a trap to make you feel bad if you don’t agree with health care reform. Of course no one should suffer, but I feel that there should be consequences for actions.
It got me thinking about a public health plan. As I understand it, a public option would NOT be free. There would be premiums, albeit less expensive, just like any other healthcare insurance. So should someone suffer because they can’t afford the premiums. The viral status statement leads me to believe that proponents of a public option would pay for everyone’s healthcare regardless of the ability to pay.
Let’s extrapolate that idea. Until now, I’ve not cared where anyone in the world eats. I’ve broke bread with my chubby brethren at plenty of McDonald’s around the state. However a public option for which no one would EVER suffer regardless of the ability to pay would mean my taxes would go to pay, in part, for the myocardial infarction my brethren are likely to suffer as a part of the steady diet of fast food.
So what’s a government to do?
There is the possibility of a large Public Service Announcement campaign similar to the one that rapidly decreased pollution pigs from the 1970s. No one could possibly be against jailing idiots that trash our scenic byways with litter. The tear of the iconic Native American struck a chord across this nation. That coupled with steep fines changed a behavior pattern.
Why wouldn’t the same thing happen with poor health habits. Wouldn’t that put McDonald’s out of business?
What about fining people who are completely out of whack with their BMI? Do we fine them at national weigh-ins?
Sure, there’s an element of hyperbole in my analysis, but how long would it be before we all started to realize that their is a segment of the population that is going to cost us tons o’ tax dollars? Who is thinking ahead on all this stuff? Shouldn’t we have safeguards against these type of actions included in any law that is passed?
How long before motorcycle helmet laws are instituted in EVERY state including Indiana? How can the Congressional Budget Office calculate the number of Americans who will jump to a government insurance option or be turfed by their employers to one. Yes, I understand that there is a provision for employers to pay an amount to the government to get out of providing healthcare, but how much longer before that is a fiscally popular option.
I think there is definitely room for compromise, but we are headed down a path to single payor and the inevitable jealousy that comes with it.
I resent the implication that I would be calloused enough to inflict suffering on those who cannot afford health insurance. Just about any hospital would accept any patient who needs immediate attention. No one should go broke because of a sickness that is NOT the result of their smoking, overeating, inactivity, or break dancing.
There is a need for reform, but it needs to be tackled in stages with an intent on forecasting unintended consequences. Too often legislators do not get a full picture before the frenzy to vote is upon them. We need to carefully anticipate the future of our health care before we get sucked into a bad plan.