Friday, March 26, 2010

Anonymous - Part 2

Anonymous said:
Two things:
1) Wanting government regulated health insurance isn't socialism. Sorry, but it isn't. Perhaps you could make the argument with government OWNED health insurance, but not government regulated health insurance.
Also, you don't have to have health insurance. You have to pay a fee if you don't get it, but that fee is 1% of your income, which is probably less than it would cost you to get health insurance. Besides, are you really denying your work-given health insurance? The government also doesn't let you threaten the life of a President or yell fire in a crowded room -- is that Progressives taking away your freedom? The government makes you wear seatbelts -- are you complaining about that terrible loss of freedom?
2) Socialism is an economic movement. Communism is a system of government. You cannot replace democracy with socialism -- it's an impossibility. But that's just words.

I do appreciate your attempts to help this naive progressive understand, but I must confess I still don't understand your clarification. How is pushing through reform ending democracy? There are more Democrats than Republicans in the Congress. The Democrats passed their bill. Did they do it in the best way? No. Did they do it in a shady way? Yes. But in 2008 America voted in more Democrats than Republicans, and the Democrats are passing their agenda. In November, you get to fight this. This means Democracy is still working. 
I totally admire your passion, but simply am having trouble understanding your logic. 
Democrats aren't representing the values of Republicans, so they're ending Democracy? I honestly am having trouble understanding.

Yes, you are correct that Socialism is an economic and/or political theory and democracy is a type of government. I did not refer to the US Government as a Constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic traditions , which is how the CIA categorizes it, not because I want to mislead people or because I don't understand the type of government we have, but because most readers refer to the US as a "democracy", not a "Constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic traditions". Also, most people do not refer to the US as a "representative democracy" we simply say, "Democracy". Since a democracy is a government by the people with freedoms that are secured through the constitution - when I said, "Progressives really think that the battle is won, and that the democracy we flourish in is over." I was implying that under the current bill, which I feel is part of a Progressive agenda, the 'democracy' granted to us by the constitution is being threatened. I wasn't trying to say that we are going from a Democracy to Socialism in terms of form of government. Since the word 'Democracy' is thrown around freely, and since America is Capitalistic (some would argue that point and to what degree we are capitalistic, but that is another can of worms) I assumed, shame on me, that it was implied that I was referring to the replacement of capitalistic with socialistic economic measures.

Democracy, or a Constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic traditions (CBFRSDT, for short), didn't happen over night. Socialism won't happen over night either. It is also a process. Many Conservatives feel that this Healthcare Law is a huge step down that path. In 2007, Obama said,
It is my belief that not just politically but also economically, it’s better for us to start getting a system in place—a universal health care system—signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further—to make it more rational—by the way, Canada did not start off immediately with a single-payer system. They had a similar transition step.
The Obama administration passed this bill because they needed a foundation to 'build off'. Clearly it didn't matter what was in the bill. Pelosi said,
we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it
I mean, really? This bill, I mean law, has nothing to do with improving healthcare or cutting cost! It was only a step.

If that isn't enough, the law does NOT cover children with pre-existing conditions. They all thought it did, but I guess that's what happens when not a damn soul reads the bill.

You mentioned that,
Wanting government regulated health insurance isn't socialism. Sorry, but it isn't. Perhaps you could make the argument with government OWNED health insurance, but not government regulated health insurance.
The government is setting up the exchanges that contain 4 tiered plans that the American public is mandated to PURCHASE, in order to meet the minimum coverage requirement. So you are purchasing healthcare coverage from the gov't, which makes it gov't owned, not gov't regulated. That sounds Socialistic to me.

Now to Car Insurance vs. Health Insurance. One, you don't have to drive a car. When you drive a car it is on a public street, and in order to drive you have to obtain a driver's license. If you don't want to drive, then don't - but guess what? If you decide not to drive, you aren't fined. You are FREE to make that choice. And that is the difference!

Any form of Nationalization is a step toward Socialism, and with this Healthcare Law the government is now controlling part of the distribution and production within the healthcare market. America has always been the country with a Capitalistic Free Market based economy, so why are we now going down the Nationalization/Socialist path?

It is just 2700 pages of favors!


  1. Well said. The elected elite are picking the winners (campaign contributors and voting blocks) and the losers (Joe six pack).

    I cannot understand how mandating insurance is in any way, shape or form Constitutional. Even if everything else in this bill was peachy, that provision alone would cause me to oppose it. It sets a dangerous precedent for the future - I have little doubt liberals would rail against that sort of power if Sarah Palin were president. The "Patriot Act" is a prime example of government overreaching and eroding the Constitution while claiming to do it for our own good.

    The founders had it right - man is too easily corruptible. Keep the barriers in place or slide into a fascist nanny state.

    The government should provide equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome.

  2. I do understand your points a little better now, thank you.
    And let me say, as a Progressive, I am FURIOUS that the bill does not eliminate the pre-existing condition clause for children. But, I still would maintain that it's better than nothing. This isn't blind support for Obama; you probably just don't understand how much I've personally been screwed by Health Insurance over the past 11 years.

    While I still applaud any push for health care reform that limits how much insurance companies can steal from citizens and leave them to go broke and die, I respect another fellow citizen's right to disagree.

    I now understand a bit better your clarification of how you feel this is moving towards socialism. While I still disagree, I understand you a bit better, which makes me feel much better.

    In general, I have to say that I don't hear a lot of this kind of well-phrased arguments from the Tea Party. And before anyone blames the "liberal media", let me say that this includes the coverage shown on Fox News (the news organization that organized these rallies). All I see are posters threatening violence, posters of Obama as Hitler, and rhetoric that seems to be more anger-base than issue based. This kind of demonstration has made it easy for me to sort of "turn off" the Tea Party in my head -- automatically dismissing any notion held by these people as being vitriolic, hate-filled speech. I understand this is biased on my part, but I'm explaining that when these rallies are more about violence, anger, racism, and sedition than issues, it's very easy to dismiss the ideas outright.

    It's nice to see something explained rationally. And I thank you for your patience.

    Let me just say this, though, regarding "Mo" above me. As a liberal, if Sarah Palin as President passed a law that made Health Insurance better, I'd applaud it. If it was genuinely better. McCain's plan in 2008 (as he explained in the debates) was mostly about Tax Cuts...something like a 5500 dollar tax cut to help afford insurance. That wouldn't have helped me -- without pre-existing condition reform my health insurance was 700 a month and didn't cover the one medication my doctor said would help, which was 3300 a month. Personally, as someone who's very sick and needs constant insurance, and does not have the freedom to not have health insurance (not because of government but because of genetics), I would applaud anyone who helped make it so insurance companies couldn't drop me and made sure I had a fair chance at leading a healthy life.

    I think we all want the kind of reform that helps sick people get better without going broke...I've been so burned by insurance companies that I do trust the government more than I trust them. But, if you were in my shoes, so would you.

    I do think the government should strive for some equal outcome, if that outcome is "healthy" or at least "able to be healthy without going broke".

    But, again, that's just me. I have learned from you, and I hope that you might see my point of view is based in my reality. I don't speak for all progressives and liberals, but personally, this is where I stand.

    In all honesty, thank you for your time and patience and civility. It is much appreciated.