What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? Are you saying society should just let him die?
That’s the question put to Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) by Wolf Blitzer in the closing moments of Monday night’s Tea Party Express/CNN GOP Debate.
Before Paul could answer, several members of the Tea Party laden audience enthusiastically shouted out “Yeah!”
Yeah, let him die! Yeah!
Nobody in the crowd objected.
And then, right there, you got to see exactly who and what Ron Paul really is.
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Well, I think there are two effects here:
1. They don't see their health care costs as mattering, as they are such a small fraction of their income. So they just don't understand why people who aren't rich are having such difficulties.
2. They have much more in common with the health insurance executives that do actually stand do lose significantly with this sort of legislation. They are part of the same club, and tend to stick together.
Nope, they absolutely wouldn't. In fact, after a few years of transition time, they wouldn't need to be any higher than the current Medicare tax of 2.9%. It would take a few years to wring the inefficiencies and distortions out of the system, after all. But yeah, that should be all that is required: 2.9%.
At an absolute maximum, initially you might need to double that to 5.8%. But once the inefficiencies are cleared out, it should be able to drop back down.
I live in the UK where we have a national health service. It's not perfect, it never could be, but I can't imagine how it must be to live in a country were a broken arm or leg could cost you your house and a serious illness without insurance means little or no treatment.
Smokers and drinkers will put more strain on the health service but if you add up the extra taxes they pay on their booze & fags I bet they'll come out being owed far more than they take.
As far as obesity is concerned I'd say the burger and fast food chains and processed food manufacturers have a lot more to answer for than than the poor saps they peddle their over salty, trans-fat saturated sugary wares to. Now that is criminal.
What about anyone who plays football or ice hockey? Or rides a motorbike. Or drives too fast or carelessly. Or rides a mountain bike fast over rough terrain. Or gets pregnant. If there was a god he wouldn't tolerate that kind of behaviour! You'd expect a really intelligent designer to make everything easily serviceable or replaceable, surely?
I used to work for an American company and I can tell you, I have no idea how so many people can live such crappy lives in jobs they hate for fear of not having medical insurance nor how so many people can survive without it. I am stunned that they can continue to allow things to carry on that way, talk about turkeys voting for christmas.
Be well, you sure need to be.
Wow, Clive, I guess sometimes it takes someone from the outside to let us know what the objective reality is. I never thought about the fact that smokers and drinkers pay taxes on what they consume. Were we to have national healthcare, we could simply enforce taxation which would at least cover the additional costs such people incur to the system by taxing them directly through their consumption - brilliant! And you are so right, "Big Food", or whatever the hell they are called, is certainly complicit in the degraded health of Americans. Do UKers (now, what are THEY called?) eat any better than we do over here?
I spent one year at UPS destroying my body working like a pack-rat just so my family could have healthcare. In the end we decided to just leave the US and make our fortunes elsewhere, and it was a terrific decision. Americans are overworked, underpaid, and miserable, and yet somehow proud of it. Reminds me of a town hall or something of old GWB's where a poor woman started by saying that she works 3 jobs, and Bush cut her off and said how wonderful and what a land of opportunity we live in and some such garbage, completely missing the point that if the poor woman could only work less to make ends meet, she surely would. You are so right clive, Americans are (what's the opposite of blissfully?) unaware of how to live in a better society, and so are inexplicably loyal to those who would uphold the status quo. How did we get to the point where being intelligent is a derrogatory term and progress is frowned upon?