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Archive for April, 2011

Interesting Question

In my last post, I came across a question that I found interesting, so I thought I’d turn it into a post.

Right now, Republicans are attempting to dismantle the Affordable Care Act with legal action claiming that it’s unconstitutional for the government to require people to purchase health care.

Of course the reason for this mandate is because health insurance companies have made it clear that when healthy people don’t buy health insurance, the insurance companies can’t afford to pay the medical bills of the unhealthy participants. It’s especially problematic when the law now longer allows exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Of course the biggest problem is when these non-contributers get sick and then go to the emergency room to receive free care. In these situations, those who pay for health insurance subsidize those who don’t, and it raises costs for everyone.

Now, Republicans are suggesting that we switch to a cafeteria plan for Medicare. In this situation, the government will pay a set subsidy, and the burden of increased health insurance costs will fall onto the senior. I certainly understand that many of you have so much faith in free market that you believe that the subsidy will always be enough to pay for the insurance. However, similar programs so far haven’t done so. According to an NPR bit, costs in such plans go up higher than in Medicare.

So let’s just agree that it’s possible that the cost of the plans could go higher than the subsidy. In this case, would the seniors be required to purchase Medicare? And if so, how will Republicans argue this legally?

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I haven’t posted anything on this blog in a long time, and that’s not because I’ve had nothing to say.

It’s because I believe that this country is in a cold civil war right now. It’s very clear that politicians no longer believe in policies based on common ground. Instead, they aim to defeat opposing viewpoints and impose self-serving policy on everybody.

It’s my belief that Republicans have launched multiple attacks not only on the Democratic point of view, but also on entities that support that point of view and on the middle class in general. My guess is that my brethren on the right probably feel the same way about Democrats, and I wouldn’t attempt to disagree. My impression at this point, however, is that Democrats are too naive to realize they are in a cold civil war. Therefore, they continuously try to negotiate with the enemy and it’s getting them nowhere. As a result, their constituents will eventually demand they adapt republican tactics and launch their own offensives.

It’s because of this rhetorical tenor, that I’ve been hesitant to post my opinion. Personally, I don’t want a war, even a cold one. Although my point of view fits snugly in the left-to-center corner of political thought, I firmly believe that policy is stronger when it’s more broadly informed. In other words, even though I disagree with Republicans on many issues, I believe that policy will be stronger when it represents their points of view along with mine. I don’t see it being to my advantage to defeat Republicans, but I do think my perspective is important.

Therefore, I want my posts to find common ground and not draw battle lines. I’ve certainly been guilty of throwing a few rhetorical jabs, and probably a few low blows at that (there’s a couple in this post), but I’ve meant for them to be discussion starters and not attacks.

Well anyway, here’s something about which we can probably all agree. It’s time for both parties to stop making appeals to “The American People.” It’s infuriating to me when I hear TEA party zealots claiming they’re efforts are for “American People,” when what they are doing is completely against everything I believe in and much of it will directly detriment my livelihood. The GOP “Contract with America” is case in point. I didn’t sign this contract, and I don’t believe in it. Don’t pretend it has anything to do with the “American People.” It’s a battle strategy devised to beat the enemy, and I, an American person, am one of those enemies.

So please join me in demanding that politicians from both sides refrain from using this platitude until the cold war is over.

 

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