Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why I am opposed to ObamaCare

I am surprised how charged up I am about this issue. It seems to be hitting me from so many angles and I've really been thinking about it a lot the past few days. Of course that's not hard to figure out why since it's been the main news all week, but still, I've been thinking really hard and really digging deep in understanding not only what I think about this, but why and if my reasons are justified.

On Wednesday I was subbing at Roosevelt for the AP US History teacher, a teacher I have really enjoyed subbing for this school year. He's a good guy, leaves a decent amount of work for the students, and he teaches all the Advanced Placement classes and a service-oriented class called Riders Taking Action. In other words, I have many of the most motivated students in the school. It makes for a pretty comfortable day for me. On top of that, this week was the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) so there was a delayed start in school and all the periods were 25 or 30 minutes long each. Anyway, the main thing the Riders Taking Action class did was watch the movie Sicko. I wasn't familiar with it at first, but all it took was about 5 minutes of watching it before I remembered what it was-- a Michael Moore "documentary" (and I use that term loosely). I was watching it with the students just because it was there, but the more I watched it the more I was like "what is this garbage?!?" So, instead of watching, I looked up Sicko on the Internet; I looked up a synopsis and I looked up the criticisms of it. Of course there was tons of praise for it from the left and tons of criticism from the right. It was hardly a documentary in telling a story; it was far closer to propaganda in my opinion than a documentary as it was clearly slanted. I've always thought of documentaries as being more neutral and letting the viewer make their own decision. There was also a book on the teacher's desk that basically sang the praises of socialized medicine in the UK, France, Japan, and Canada. I didn't have time to read it, but did have time to glance at the summary. Since I'm only in this class once every few weeks, the last thing I want to do is accuse anyone of promoting a viewpoint or giving a slanted view. That's not my point. For all I know I came in while one viewpoint was being presented and the other side will follow soon (at least I hope!). I'll have a whole other blog post on the importance of having a balanced view in school. No, that just caused me to really start thinking about my opposition to the current reform being debated (which I, like many others, refer to as ObamaCare). Why am I opposed to it and to government-run healthcare in general? Is it just because it's the "other side" and I don't want them to succeed? Or is it really not a good thing that I have rational reasons for not supporting?

I was really thinking about this a lot the rest of this week, particularly yesterday as it seems like the votes are there and the Democrats will use a voting technique to avoid a plurality and get this signed ASAP. These are the reasons I came up with as to why this isn't a good idea:

1. The biggest problem I have is the requirement for people without insurance to get insurance or pay a fine as this will directly affect me. My current job situation has me only working part-time with no benefits. What I get paid depends on how much I'm needed, so it fluctuates greatly. I barely make enough to get by with the help of my family and now, should this pass, I will be expected to buy something I cannot afford or pay a fine. And not just me, but anyone who works part-time with no benefits will be in the same boat. And government subsidies? Even if there is a subsidy that pays for ALL my insurance (which I highly doubt) we can be certain in order to qualify for it, we will need to go through mountains of paperwork to "prove" how poor we are. Having had to do that already for other expenses, I can tell you it's degrading and time consuming. In the end, I fail to see the constitutionality of forcing private citizens to buy something from a private company.

2. Next, in forcing me to buy health insurance, not only is the government telling me WHEN to buy it, but it will also tell me from whom I can buy it. So, another government bureaucracy is going to have access to my personal health information and is somehow going to magically know what insurance company I am allowed to buy coverage from. Unbelievable. Once again, the "Progressive" movement's "we know best" rears its ugly head. This goes right along with my "Brother's Keeper" post from Wednesday. It is incredibly arrogant and agency-robbing.

3. I have yet to see a large government agency actually operate with great efficiency, in budget, smoothly, while also reducing costs to those it serves yet somehow I'm supposed to believe it will be able to improve on the problems we have with insurance companies. Sorry, the track record speaks otherwise. Not only have government agencies like the Post Office been hemorrhaging money for a long time, but it was recently announced Social Security will hand out more in payments than it receives in income this year. In other words, it's broke. I even had a well-meaning friend use libraries and the military as examples of good government-run programs. Libraries aren't mainly federal responsibilities; they are mostly funded at the local and state levels, much like schools (many here are attached to a local school district). The military, as much as I appreciate and support it, is hardly an example of fiscal responsibility or efficiency. It's funny and ironic any liberal would use the military as a reason to support government healthcare given their near constant criticism of and attempts to undermine its missions. Anyone remember Walter Reed Hospital?!? Let's not forget two much smaller programs the government ran recently to "help" people out: Cash for Clunkers and the Foreclosure Relief Plan. Not only did both largely fail to actually do much of anything they were planned to do, but they were marred by endless paperwork and confusion not to mention lots more imaginary money spent. If we're going to spend close to a TRILLION dollars on something, shouldn't it be a significant improvement over what we have?? Or have we become numb to how much money a trillion dollars actually is? And again...the government demonstrated its inabilies and shortcomings in big ways with relatively (compared to ObamaCare) small programs and we want to give them MORE say in our healthcare?!? Stay the heck away from my health decisions please!

4. Another thing that bothers me is more policy and incredibly long-reaching decisions being made about healthcare by politicians almost exclusively without the input of physicians. This is not only smart for the public (what right do most politicians have in making medical-related decisions) but also for physicians. It's going to affect their careers too, careers they have invested an enormous amount of time and money in. I see the same thing in education. Many of the main problems in education come from the fact that many of the policies and guidelines (particularly from the federal and state levels) are made not by educational professionals, but by politicians. Thus, many of the standards and ideas are unrealistic when actually put into practice in a classroom. On top of that, the measurements used to see how effective a school is are hardly comprehensive and often tell only a small part of the story and then improper judgments are made about a teacher, school, and or community based on only a partial picture. I see the same thing happening with healthcare. Major decisions will be made not by doctors, but by politicians. While the bill promises not to deny anyone coverage because of a pre-existing condition, that does not mean all claims will be filled. This story is a great example of that out of Canada where someone covered under the Canadian healthcare system was denied a claim for a specific (and expensive) drug because it wasn't on the "approved" list for that ailment. And before you say, "Oh that's just an isolated case" just remember this: because it happened ONCE it can happen again and has probably happened before. Not only that, but what if YOU or a loved on were that ONE "isolated case" that puts you between death and bankruptcy? We want politicians and bureaucrats to have a bigger say in our healthcare? I thought that was the big complaint about the "Big Insurance" companies?

5. As several "fence-sitting" Democrats have changed to "yes" it's become clear they are more concerned with the success of their party more than whether or not this is an actual improvement. Democrat Dennis Kucinich, long an embarrassment for Ohio (yet his district continues to elect him!), even cited Obama's "legacy as President" as a reason to vote yes even though the bill is "flawed". I'm sorry, NO president's so-called "legacy" is worth this. Congress was elected to work for the people, not to help build Obama's "legacy." WOW

Yesterday, I really was feeling more and more like those in the same situation I am with part-time work but no pressing medical problems are being thrown under the bus for the sake of helping other people without insurance. It seems whenever the "little guy" says to liberals (who, of course, claim to be helping the "little guy") "hey stop helping. You're screwing me" The liberals say back, "I'm sorry you have to suffer, but look at all the people that will be helped. We know better, so just be quiet and listen." Well guess what, I'm one of the "little guys" here and this will totally screw me and anyone like me. Something this large and drastic shouldn't sacrifice one group for the benefit of the other as that is really nothing different than what we already have. ObamaCare doesn't even guarantee that it will cover everyone who is uninsured. Will it help some people? Sure it will, especially those who can't get coverage due to pre-existing conditions. But as I said, it will not only cost people like me even more money that I really can't afford, but everyone else as well in taxes. As people have less money to spend, think of what that will do to the economy, in particular non-essential things like entertainment. If people who support this really do think this is part of the "much needed" first step, why does it have to cost so much? Why can't the first step be more in terms of policy and less in spending MORE money we don't have? Why does this first step have to be drastic and admittedly flawed? Why does it have to pass NOW even though most benefits for adults won't even kick in for up to FOUR YEARS? I'm not opposed to reform; changes need to be made so that everyone has access to quality healthcare. This, however, is not the answer to the problem. Throwing one group under the bus for another is not a solution, it's just a relocation of the problem. The most recent poll released yesterday finds 80% of Americans disapprove of Congress, yet onward they push with this bill. Again, the old arrogant liberal ideology "we know better" is in full force along with cries the pubic is "being misled". The public is not, of course, being misled when polls find Americans opposed to things liberals hate like the Iraq war. Then what the public wants, according to polls, is what Democrats want and they need to reflect the will of the people. Well, the people are speaking again Obama, Pelosi, Reid, & Co. Are you listening? Or do you only listen when what the public wants matches what you want?


Becky said...

I agree with all the points you made. I hate this stupid plan and I can only pray that I am able to get health insurance on my own terms and not the governments. At the end of the day, I figure the worse this country gets, the closer we are to Christ coming back. THAT I am excited for.

Unknown said...

Well said!