Monday, March 20, 2017

Not having health insurance can be as deadly as terrorism


     March 6. Two weeks ago. Does the date stand out in your mind? It should.
     On that day President Donald Trump signed his second travel ban, denying visas to residents of six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and barring all refugees for four months.
     The order was called "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." The administration argued for its necessity using words related to protection: security, safety, risk. "We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives," said Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly.
     Also on that day — the same day — Republicans offered up their plan to dismember Obamacare.
     No one spoke of protection or risk. Instead, Obamacare was being dismantled in the name of . . . what's that word Paul Ryan kept using? Right, "access." If the government stopped blazing a route to insurance, Americans would be free to wander into the marketplace and buy whatever insurance they like, the sky's the limit, provided they can pay for it — which many can't.
     So one measure, the travel ban, is being taken to protect American lives. The other, to give them access to options.
     But what if we took those two values and swapped them? Apply concern for access to the travel ban, and security to Obamacare. What would that teach us?

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  1. In a Saturday piece the Sun-Times' token right wiing coulumnist, Mona Charen, declared her preference, "as a conservative," for a return to the free market in medicine that prevailed before Medicare and Medicaid and before "Congress further distorted the market by requiring hospital emergency rooms to treat everyone regardless of ability to pay." Put another way, that golden time when allowing the indigent and old to perish from lack of medical attention was considered a necessary inconvenience. Beware of free market ideologes, as they are apt to be bad for your health.

    But beyond that, one wonders if the lady knows that the first universal health insurance system was installed in 1883 Germany, not at the behest of Karl Marx but by Otto von Bismark,as "conservative" as they come. The Iron Chancessor simply felt a healthy 'volk' was necessary to a strong Germany. Evolutions of the Bismark model, not that different from 'Obamacare,'have been adopted by other industrial countries, providing better than U.S. outcomes at lower cost.

    Evidantly, being a 'conservative' these days simply requires taking a 'government bad' pledge, sometimes in defiance of good sense and common humanity.


  2. Yes, Bismarck may have stopped the Comm. Revolution from happening there. There was some help for workers too. Too bad the young Kaiser didn't appreciate him after a while.

    And Ms. Mona must have forgotten the low cost of med. care in those days.

  3. I hope nobody who opposes healthcare for everyone dares describe themselves as "pro-life." Sorry, but if you don't want folks to get healthcare, you are pro-death. Paul Ryan is leading the pro-death movement right now. Trump is our pro-death President but it's hard to tell if he really understands what he's saying a lot of the time.


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