I guess I need to weigh in on this “critical” issue of our times. I’m not really qualified to comment on the contents of the proposal, but I will say this: There is nothing in the Constitution that “guarantees” healthcare, nor is it wise (IMHO) to think that we can just go out there and mandate it. Thinking that we can spend $1T on this problem is like thinking that just throwing rocks at a dam will keep it from bursting when the rain is coming down in buckets and your dam is already cracking.
Why don’t I believe that throwing money at a problem is a good solution? Because, look what’s happened in the past 2 years in our country. First, we started hearing there were problems in the financial industry. Then, we heard there were problems in mortgages. Somehow or other, the “sure thing” that we bet on, that our financial “Gurus” told us we could bet on, were not a good thing after all. So, mortgage firms started having troubles. Then bigger lenders, then the insurance giant AIG nearly collapsed seemingly overnight. Now that we’ve had 4 score or so banks fail this year alone, we’re starting to realize that you cannot simply throw money at a problem and wish it to go away.
At least, if you’re smart, you’re thinking that way. Why you ask? Because, one thing: Human nature. We gave money, actually loaned money to those folks on Wall St. to bail themselves out of their difficulties. What did they do with that money? Happily paid themselves year-end bonuses that they didn’t deserve.
I actually heard some fellow (the Editor of the NY Times Financial News Section if I remember correctly) go on the record saying: “We have to pay those people their bonuses, who else will we get to do these jobs?” He was referring specifically to AIG at the time, but it’s true of all these corporations who allow bonuses to be paid to executives and the like when their companies are in the toilet (not making money and in fact mostly losing money).
How does this relate to Healthcare you might ask? Well, the roots of our present financial mess go back quite a bit further than just the past 2 years. Think back to President Clinton when he signed the “law” that forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and FHA and HUD to give money to low-income folks for houses that they could neither afford nor could they qualify for loans under “ordinary” conditions. We started giving those folks 110% loans, and in some cases 115-120% loans, so they could live in houses. Then, we give them monthly financial assistance on top of that! It’s reminiscent of the 1950’s and 1960’s when the “projects” were the thing. These are just “projects” of a different nature.
What happened? We lost our shirts that’s what happened! You cannot “give” money to folks who are not responsible with it, no matter what. That’s not a racial or prejudicial argument either! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you “give” folks (read that entitlement) things they don’t deserve, then they just turn around and poop all over you. I’m being generous here too.
Is it any different for the Government to “give” money to low-income families for housing and big corporations to “give” money to management for a cruddy job of managing other people’s money? I would argue that both are “entitlement mentality.” The definition I’m using here is “getting something that is not deserved.” As a Christian, I’m darned glad The Lord “gave” me salvation as a free gift. It’s something He guarantees to me and gave me freely. We call that “Grace.” Mercy, on the other hand, is not getting what I deserve (punishment for sin).
So, let me now weave these 2 Biblical concepts into the Healthcare debate. If, the idea is pervasive in our society that we should get something we don’t deserve (something good is an “Entitlement”), and we, as individuals never feel that we should get anything bad, then who pays for it? If we _all_ deserve something good, then how can it ever be paid for? Who works for it? Do we just keep chasing the buck up the chain to the top where President Obama says “I’ll just print up $1T and pay for it.”
Clearly, we don’t all believe in Entitlements. As a Christian, I am firmly _against_ entitlements in any shape or form. People should _work_ for what they get. That’s Biblical. Is there Mercy then in our society? Do people _not_ get what they deserve? Absolutely. Those bumbling idiots from AIG (and most other failing financial firms) should all have been fired. Heck, I’d stand in line for their job for a whole year! If all I had to do was get paid half a million dollars a year to run a company into the ground, I could do that job easily! Let me know where to sign up for it would you?
So, apparently, we do have a notion of “mercy” in our society, and grace. Are they Biblically based? Absolutely not, in most cases. The “World” has turned the Biblical concepts of Grace and Mercy upside down (naturally). Those idiots on Wall St. are managing my money too, they have my IRA’s and 401K monies, and they’ve fumbled them down to where they’re worth about 1/4 what they once were. My goodness, does that give me any confidence at all that we can “throw money” at the healthcare problem and come up with anything like a solution?
You take a guess at that one. It’s academic in my book. Absolutely, 100%, never ever ever, forget it Buster, you’re looney tunes, No! No! No! NO!
We need to fix what we’ve got. Plain and simple. If there are those who cannot get healthcare, then make it so they can. But don’t pay for it. We have Medicare and Medicaid for that. Fix those agencies. Fix the “inefficiencies” in the system. Make it accountable. Make it _not_ an entitlement, and then you’ve got something you can work with.