Daily Archives: November 15, 2010

A Glimpse of Health Reform on Facebook

I’m headed out of town this week. So, I thought I’d give you a pretty substantial blog post, because this may be all you get from me for a while. Here it is………..

I watched this video via Facebook a few days ago:

Then I decided to set my status update on Facebook to read:

“So is ‘Obamacare’ fascist, socialist, communist, or Hitler? Words have actual meanings.”

That set off the following “discussion” in the comments on my page:

Michael: it’s libertarian fascism, or maybe conservative communism? No, wait, I think it is Hitler socialism, or at least socialist demublicratic right-left centrism?

Omar: unconstitutional

Michael: Please, explain this “unconstitutional” claim…


Michael: The comments on this are interesting. Seems like our gov’t, including our founding fathers, have been making mandates since America’s founding, such as “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen” and “The Militia Act”

Omar: This the first time the federal government requires someone to purchase something. That doesn’t sit right with me.

Brad: To be accurate, they don’t require you to purchase something. They do charge you a penalty for not purchasing something. It’s not quite the same thing. You are still completely free not to have insurance if you choose. You just can’t pass the cost of that choice onto the rest of the American people like you could pre-reform. It would be more accurate to say the government has required you to spend money–but even that isn’t entirely true, because their are exemptions for things like religious objections.

Omar: If you think penalizing someone; for not doing something; isn’t requiring them to do it. Then your a fool or trying to fool others.

Michael: Omar, I’m not sure that’s true. It isn’t the first time we have to buy into something, which would be core to the argument being made in the case. “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen” of 1871 required sailors to buy insurance……, via deductions from their pay checks. “The Militia Act” of 1792 required all men over 18 to be in a militia, which required the purchase of weapons and ammo. Also, every pay period, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are deducted from our pay checks. Also, city, state and federal taxes? I think the judge will find that in practice, i.e the reading of the laws as the have been being read, the gov’t has been and continues to require people to to pay into programs, to pay for things and/or to pay penalty for not paying into a program.

Omar: Ok let me rephrase. This is the first time the federal government will require EVERYONE to purchase something. Woman wont have to buy a weapon, non saliors don’t have to buy that insurance. You are only required to pay taxes; if you make mo…ney.

As far as states and local governments; if their Constitution lets them mandate it, like Massachusetts; then that is fine with me.

Michael: Everyone the US gov’t considered a full citizen in 1792 (only men) was required to purchase something (weapons/ammo). I think this and health care are very silimar. And again, everyone has to pay into Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. How are those programs different?

Omar: Not everyone has to pay it. The bum on the corner asking for money doesn’t pay those taxes. But he will be penalized cause he doesn’t have health insurance.

Not everyone works in our society. You aren’t forced to work, thus not forced to pay… those taxes.

Omar: And are people still required to join the militia? I know I haven’t joined them. Using a bad law for justification for another bad law doesn’t work for me.

Michael: And still, you think the gov’t requiring everyone it considered citizens in 1792 to join a militia and buy weapons is not comparable?

Omar: Yeah it is comparable; in the fact we aren’t required join a militia anymore shows that bad laws are passed and later gone away with? Or am I wrong am I still required to join the militia by law?

Michael: We don’t have militias anymore, since the development of a strong standing army. It’s not that it was a “bad law” that went away. Anyways, let’s see what the judge says…

Lindsey: Hitlerian fasciosociocommunism. Definitely.

Catherine: Wow, I didn’t know it was THAT bad to try and make sure that every human being has a health care plan…

Michael: Catherine: It’s horrid, we need that money and those sick people to fight foreign wars!

Omar: The idea is great; but just cause the overall idea is a really good one, doesn’t mean what is in the bill is good.

Devil is in the details. Like why is gold purchases over a certain amount of money be required to use a 1099, in a health car…e bill???

Catherine: Well, maybe the bill would have been better had we let the people working on it do their job instead of wanting to compromise everything! But then again, what do I know, I’m just another one of those scary european leftist persons…



Michael: Omar, the idea of universal health care is everyone has to participate, and everyone pays in. I’m not sure you would be happy with this bill under any circumstances, since it has to have provisions that include everyone in the system…

Omar: I like the idea of choice. I can choice to have it, which I do. Or I can choice to not have it; like people I know. Don’t force me to do it, even if I would want to.

Then again I am Pro choice; you think more Pro choice people would dislike …the mandate.

Michael: The principle that makes universal health care work is that everyone pays in, and everyone uses the system. A single payer plan was watered down by the GOP and Big Insurance to what we ended up with. You can’t find a universal health care plan without some sort of mandate to include everyone. otherwise, the rich just opt out and the system cant survive.

Omar: Then universal health care is unamerican. Goes against freedom of choice.

So, I guess it is socialism.

Michael: ‎”universal health care is unamerican.” sigh. i guess it’s American to let poor people and minorities to live sickly and die young?

Omar: No, it’s American to donate $$ to causes that help them.

Michael: I love that conservative principle: rely on the charity of others, but don’t rush to make that charity happen, therefor starving any public welfare program and ending up back at square one, sick and dying people. You really think community …clinics surviving by the thread of their pants and other starved non profits have any way to take on the care of 60+ million uninsured Americans? Where is this amazing charity we have that makes these clinics not starve? Oh, wait, it doesn’t exist. This charity concept is great in theory, but in practice is an excuse to shut down public assistance.

Omar: I work for a non profit organization that consist of 2 hospitals and many clinics. We depend mostly on donations. That is a reality.

Michael: And you don’t get federal or state funding? I bet you do! Almost all direct providers in America do. That is how they survive.

Omar: Of course we do, but without rich people donating, this organization would exist.
That is the middle ground. Government and private organizations working together to provide the best health care we can. Not a government take over of our hea…lth care, aka universal health care.

Omar: err wouldn’t exist, typo.

Kimberly: Quick pick up all the sick and dieing off the street it’s unsightly I see them everywhere it’s like a 3rd world country! If you can make it to a hospital or call 911 a patient can be treated simple as that and guess what u don’t even have to pay- really. It’s the minority forcing the majority to buy into a system they just don’t want that was made clear Nov2. Sorry it’s the truth.

Brad: Man, people really don’t understand how EMTALA works. Nor do they grasp basic economic principles–like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”–all that free ER care gets passed on to the rest of us. That’s health economics 101. The electi…on results show two things: 1. Turnout was disproportionately whiter and older than in 2008. 2. The economy still sucks. While it has leveled off, and there has been some job creation, it hasn’t been enough. When the economy isn’t good, when people are out of work, they vote the people in power out. Happens every time. Of course, yes, there are the Medicare beneficiaries who hate government involvement in their health care, but don’t want less Medicare. Hypocrites.

Omar: Brad I would say they don’t like the ineffective government involvement. Tf government was as effective as it promised, then they wouldn’t complain.

Fact- Medicare- pays for ever prosthetic other than for breast Cancer Survivors.

Fix the syst…em, don’t create a new mess.

Kimberly : Wow Brad I’m stumped Healthcare is not FREE?

Brad: But Omar, the health reform law specifically gets rid of the inefficiencies in Medicare (like paying extra for Medicare Advantage). If they just wanted it to be more efficient, seems they’d be all for that.

Brad: ‎@ KG, I thought Republicans favored individual responsibility. If so, they ought to favor a system that puts the burden of coverage on the individual, rather than letting them show up at an ER for care that is paid for by the rest of us. Then again, EMTALA doesn’t equal care without payment in the way people often suggest.

Omar: Southeast Georgia Health System is going to have the 204th CyberKnife in the world. In Jan 2011 it will be completed.Who paid for it, rich people’s donations.

If it was the government funded it would take 3 years.

Brad: And yet, nothing in the new law prevents rich people from making donations.

Kimberly: My point Brad was not a single person who walks in the er is turned down for care. I like your choice of words “burden”.

Omar: It puts government insurance Vs private insurance. Government insurance will be slow, long lines, but sustainable cause they have the government backing.

Private insurance will be more effective, but can’t compete with a system that has gov…ernment backing.

This will force out private insurance companies and bring us into a single payer system. I feel that is the way it is intended.

Brad: It doesn’t put government insurance vs. private insurance. Before reform there was private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and CHAMPUS. After reform there is private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and CHAMPUS. There is no public option. If anything, this will help the private insurance industry. Why do you think they aren’t urging repeal? They stand to win big depending on the regs that come out.

Omar: Doesn’t it create a publicly subsidized “marketplace” to shop for insurance?

Brad: By the “marketplace” I assume you are referring to the exchange. Yes, it creates that. Those are all private insurance products however. It’s basically likely to be a website to help with comparison shopping. Think of it like Travelocity or Expedia for health insurance. Is more transparency and competition suddenly a bad thing?

Omar: No, but if it is publicly subsidized, it give people the advantage of switching to a publicly subsidized insurance plan. Which will be an unfair competition.

Am I wrong about the subsidies?

Brad: There are subsidies, but they are not tied to particular products. Basically, if your income is low enough, you just qualify for Medicaid. Then, if your income is too high for Medicaid, you qualify for a subsidy, which gradually phases out as your income increases. However, you can use the subsidy to purchase any coverage you wish. Making sense?

Omar: Time will tell.

But this debate is good.

Erica: @ Omar “Not everyone has to pay it. The bum on the corner asking for money doesn’t pay those taxes. But he will be penalized cause he doesn’t have health insurance.”

BTW – the bum on the street that doesn’t pay taxes – or anyone who is poo…r enough to not pay taxes – would not be penalized for not having health insurance. They – poor men without children – also are probably eligible for Medicaid after 2014 – for the very first time.

Just sayin’

Omar: So Erica, it is ok to penalize people for how much they make? Did you help write our tax system? lol.
Erica: The point is that he won’t be penalized. Those of us that can and do afford health insurance are already being penalized for those that currently choose not to because our premiums are higher to cover the care of those that are ‘self-pay.’ THAT is NOT okay. AND no, I don’t think I am either smart or stupid enough to write our current tax code.

Alisha: I was curious what status could possibly have 52 comments and I am really surprised that I was so enthralled and ended up reading all 52! Awesome discussion

Brad: So, FB peeps, I’ve been having a hard time coming up with material for my blog. Do I have your permission to post this discussion? Let me know.

Omar: Fine by me.

Erica: Sure. Thanks, Brad

Omar: Just fuzz out our last names. =)

Brad’s Thoughts: It is abundantly clear from this discussion that people remain passionately pro and anti-health reform. It is also abundantly clear that many of the points the group opposed to health reform are making (at least on Facebook) are incorrect. Unfortunately, for many, being passionate often precludes being open to new information. Thanks to those who later came to bat for me. I can’t take them all on by myself.

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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

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