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Monday Morning Politics--September 28

Monday Morning Politics
September 28, 2009

Republicans and sheer, utter stupidity.

While, personally, I don't often put these two things together, this weekend I've seen some reasons why. They basically come back to the current health care debate. Now, to tell you the truth, I currently have health insurance that I pay for completely from my salary. If I could live without insurance, I would make a substantial amount more. Also, at previous times in our family's life, we've gone without insurance for Ann and I and had the kids on Medicaid, because we could not afford the insurance offered by my employer. As soon as I could find a job with insurance provided, we changed. We continued to be eligible for Medicaid because of low-income, but used only our employer plan.

So, what has me displeased with the party of no right now? After all, my experience with Medicaid was more than enough to convince me that government run health care isn't a great idea. We had difficulties with payments at times, at other times saw doctors gladly order tests that seemed unnecessary simply because Medicaid would pay for it. We also saw some amazing differences in how we were treated by office and hospital staffs when we were on private insurance and Medicaid. Being a Medicaid patient seemed to result in longer waits, snarlier staff, and less listening by professionals, as if being on Medicaid was a sign of incompetence. Republicans should make me happy, because they do not want increased government involvement.

Problem is this: they're starting to be exceedingly stupid about it. We had a US Senator apparently express that there was no use in mandating maternity coverage, and his defense was “I don't need it, I shouldn't have to have it.” Well, chuckles, did you have kids at some point? Will your wife ever? I hope to never need the cancer portion of my medical policy, but insurance is about shared risk. And it sounds so stupid and insensitive, that people with compassion and sense are going to now dislike you and all you have to say.

There have been a few other examples cropping up. And it's time to stop it. The American people are, generally, against using tax money to insure people. Really, they are. Even people that think we should use taxes to insure those without insurance realize the dangers of corporations and businesses dropping private plans and overloading the system. After all, every other government program runs into funding trouble. Social Security has issues. Medicaid/Medicare has issues. Government-run education is consistently short-funded. So, there has to be a better option.

The Republican party has got to come forward with ideas that protect individual freedom, provide opportunities to have reasonable access to health care, and remains compassionate. This idea of basing your opinion on what you, personally, need or don't need doesn't wash.

I'm no expert, but I think that if we see insurance return to being for major issues, but that individuals are responsible for their own preventative and minor medical issues. It is financially viable to operate auto and homeowners insurance in that manner, but one must remember that insurance companies are allowed to decline and modify policies based on risks. You couldn't mandate universal rates or prohibit denials. I think this is a complex problem that must be dealt with, but depoliticized.

Staking out a political position is one thing. Sticking with your principles is a good thing. Having no compassion for people that aren't like you is not. It's no way to show the country that you're capable of leading it.



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