Abigail Nora (ladypushpull) wrote in 1nationunderjim,
Abigail Nora
ladypushpull
1nationunderjim

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Healthcare.

Okay. So, a few days ago, I posted a public entry on my journal detailing why I support Obama in this election. I also posted this in note form on facebook. An interesting debate regarding universal healthcare and socialism ensued. I'm just going to copy-paste the main points, then I'm curious about everyone's personal thoughts on this matter.

Excerpt of original post: "[Obama's program] guarantees universal healthcare for minors, but his initial plan does not cover adults. Complete universal healthcare is a vital goal that we need to aspire to, so what makes Obama's plan a good one? It's a pragmatic solution that works toward that ideal of universal healthcare for all, with significant efforts to subsidize and provide universal access to the entire population."

Reply: "Obama and Clinton promise free health care to those in need-which is a very good thing, but they make this promise to the whole at the individual's expense. This is what really bothers me.

So my parents, and yours, would in fact be paying for someone's health care that we don't even know, in the form of taxes or spending cuts in other areas such as defense or education. Our parents, and soon to be us, who have worked so hard already to make a living, are once again having our hard-earned money taken away in order to pay for someone else to have health care.

Another problem that universal health care proposes is the government wages that our doctors will be receiving. They will receive relatively equal wages if i'm correct depending on their particular field, which lowers motivation for doctors to get better and acheive more. It's the same thing as if you had an english test that you were told to study for, but you've also been told that no matter how you do on the test, your still going to receive a C+. Would you actually study? In the same way, the doctors probably won't work nearly as hard.

Another thing to consider - The more patients they see, the more money they will earn.. which leads to less time spent on the individual patient. Also, if i'm correct, by switching to the new health care plan we are commiting to local care, which means that if you get sick, your parents will not have the right to seek out the best doctor in illinois in order to help you get better, even if they have the money to do so, and even then, you will take a number in order to be seen. Don't you think that if you have worked hard for the money that you have, then you should have the right to pay any doctor you wish to see you? You see, this is the type of health care that canada has and many of them come to America in order to get the medical attention that they need.

Interestingly enough, all of this relates back to socialistic views that Mr. Sanders talked about in P&J. Socialism is the benefit of the whole over the individual. It benefits some who have not worked hard, and breaks others who have. So is it necessarily right to steal from the rich and give to the poor? I suppose if you want robin hood for president.." (I'm going to stick one all-purpose [sic] in here for typos.)

I'll leave my own reply to that off for now. Basically, I'm just curious what everyone makes of this and what your own opinion is regarding the healthcare issue.
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I am a generally cynical person, but a few unusual (for me) things came to mind as I read this. I am something of a socialism advocate, though. Keep this in mind.

Our parents, and soon to be us, who have worked so hard already to make a living, are once again having our hard-earned money taken away in order to pay for someone else to have health care.

Why is this so bad? I personally would be glad to help someone who doesn't otherwise have health care. Frankly, ego is the only thing that is keeping us (Americans) from being willing to give up what we own to benefit others. The Collective Ego of America is what makes us ignorant, intolerable, and poor. People who do make money now pride themselves on the fact that they have achieved the "American dream": monetary success (only one of many "American dreams").

...wages that our doctors will be receiving. They will receive relatively equal wages if I'm correct depending on their particular field, which lowers motivation for doctors to get better and achieve more...

The more patients [doctors] see, the more money they will earn.. which leads to less time spent on the individual patient.


Again, my natural cynicism is fading. If there are any Americans left who work for something besides monetary gain (which I doubt more with each day), then true doctors with true care for what they do - I mean people who actually got into medicine for a good reason - will continue to work no matter what. Similarly, as I love knowledge, it wouldn't matter what that test is on. If I'm going to learn something from it (as a doctor does good work by treating patients well), then I will learn it, regardless of outcome. That may just be me.

So is it necessarily right to steal from the rich and give to the poor? I suppose if you want robin hood for president..

I may just have way too much hope for humanity right now (I'm beginning to bust out some idealistic rhetoric, O-style...), but I hope and pray that one day people will be able to realize what is right is right, and there is no getting around it. What is right is compassion, love, "dying to self", in Christian terms.

I realize that this world is run by and focused on money, and monetary gain. I realize that this world bases success on being powerful and being better than one's neighbors. But... that's bullshit. If people would realize that the self is not the most important thing in the universe, then maybe people would care a little bit more. And maybe people would be willing to pay for the health care of someone who would otherwise go on sick, or someone who barely scrapes out enough for groceries, or maybe, God help us, an immigrant! Gasp.

It might just be my Buddhist ideals, but somehow I have hope, however misguided, that people still have even an iota left of integrity and selflessness.
Well, this is what I replied to her. It's a bit (actually a lot) snippy in tone but gets my point across:

"So my parents, and yours, would in fact be paying for someone's health care that we don't even know, in the form of taxes or spending cuts in other areas such as defense or education." First of all, something like 10% of our defense budget is equal to the GDP of Vietnam. Our defense budget is disproportionately huge, so cuts there wouldn't be such a bad thing. And given Obama's stance on education, I highly doubt that's an area of the budget he would cut.

But that wasn't your point. Your point was that we're paying for someone else's healthcare. Well, that's very similar to what our parents have to do with education taxes. We go to Rosary and pay tuition, but this does not mean we're exempt from paying taxes so students we don't know can receive an education as well. For that matter, that's what welfare and social security are, another thing our parents are taxed for. By your logic, those who can't afford education and retirement simply shouldn't have access to those things, unless I've misunderstood you.

As far as the C+ analogy, Obama has adressed that issue and plans for performance incentives.

Furthermore, in our current system, doctors with a higher volume of patients earn more money. I haven't heard much about the "local system" you mention, but do you honestly think it is fair that one person deserves better treatment simply because he/she can afford it? Even so, many Americans who can afford quality healthcare still find themselves in a predicament when faced with serious illness. And I have never heard of Canadians coming to America for their health needs. In fact, many Americans attempt to get perscriptions from Canada.

Finally, if we're going to compare this to something we learned in P+J, it's definitely distributive justice, not socialism. Healthcare is being distributed equitably to all people in much the same way that our government distributes education, as well as money through welfare and social security. Our welfare, educational, and social security systems are by no means perfect, but do you suggest we abandon them in favor of a "survival-of-the-fittest" situation where only those who can afford these types of things have access to them? If that's what you mean by wanting Robin Hood for president, then yes, I do.