Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Missing Connections

For a nation with no qualms about telling the rest of the world how it should live, Americans seem to have a lot of trouble connecting causes and effects. We see them when they aren’t there, and don’t see them when they are. The latter is the subject of today’s diatribe.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is about to come before the Supreme Court. Polls show the law is unpopular. Asking people how they feel about the individual provisions should show a wide band of dissatisfaction, right?

Not quite.

Pre-existing conditions can’t be held against you? Love it. Keep your kids on your insurance until they’re 26? Love it. Prescription benefits? Love it. Advances in maintaining medical records? Great idea. Better access to preventive care? Common sense.

Aside from amorphous conspiracy theories (European-style socialized medicine will corrupt your precious bodily fluids!), about the only thing people don’t like about the ACA is the individual mandate, which is necessary to keep younger, healthier people from cherry-picking their care. “You can’t make us have health insurance!” is the cry. “It’s a crumbling of our Constitutional liberties.”

What’s most interesting about this is those who are most hysterical about it have, in general, accepted the Patriot Act as an essential protection of the American Way of Life. These folks also have no issues with TSA requiring colonoscopies before allowing one to board an airplane. Americans insist on paying for their own invasive procedures, which is not the face I’d want to show the rest of the world.

Then there is government regulation. Ask any red-blooded American about government regulations and he’ll tell you they stymie business, cost jobs, and don’t do a damn bit of good.

Probe deeper and you’ll find this same person doesn’t want to have to do without food and drug inspectors, highway safety standards, environmental and workplace health rules, and on and on. Those are government regulations, folks, and the reason you like them is because the people those rules are intended to regulate will fuck you to death without them.

I could go on, but the point is made. Americans are perfectly happy to throw out a program that helps a thousand people because they heard someone gamed the system, even if they can’t prove that someone actually did what their buddy on the Internet (or Rush Limbaugh or Rick Santorum) said they did. Writers know never to let truth get in the way of a good story. The same rule should not apply to life decisions.


Susan Page said...

Love it Dana!

Charlieopera said...

Right on. It is a constant theme from the right regarding unions and the few who scam that system (although some are very legitimate claims), most union employees are not making $110,000 a year teaching high school science, etc. A few cases get the highlights, disregarding what took years to collectively bargain for ... and while some things do need to change, nobody points to the clowns earing $2.4 MILLION an hour (hedge fund manager in 2010 from Boston). Yes, that was "an hour" ... or the fact that pols themselves get pensions and healthcare for life for what, exactly? I'm not crazy about the healthcare package as it is (way too many loopholes, including a $100 per day fine for rejected pre-existing conditions--no great loss when compared to actual healthcare for insurance providers) ... single payor was the way to go, but the attacks on Obamacare as "socialized medicine" are pretty absurd (besides the fact socialized medicine is EXACTLY what we can use).

2nd Amendment Correspondent said...

Some good points. Not enough. Health inspectors? As someone who has dealt with them, I can tell you they don't protect us anywhere near what you think. Look at all the food related scandals we've had lately. And no, likely they wouldn't be worse without them in many cases. After all, the USDA and FDA approved "Pink Slime".

Most people who do the research realize that the TSA isn't actually protecting us anywhere near what the government would like us to believe. News organizations routinely wander around the baggage area and on the runway without interference. Thank God the terrorists haven't figured that out yet (although I can't imagine why not).
The main issue with the healthcare package is that it requires an enormous amount of money to support it. More than we can pay. People forget that the real provisions don't kick in until 2014 as enough money needed to be collected upfront to pay for it.
That is if our "expert" politicians don't raid it like they have Social Security (which by the way isn't an entitlement as we all pay into it).
Our government has consistently shown itself to be unreliable and untrustworthy in many cases whenever we allow it more power. Why we would entrust the government with any more regulatory power than it already has baffles me.
One example, anyone know how many regulations govern the production and distribution of ground beef? Something that has had multiple outbreaks of e. coli infestation?
Take a guess - and you'll be wrong.
There are 40,000 regulations covering ground beef. And no, I didn't put too many zeroes there. So, with 40,000 regulations and all the inspectors out there, they still can't prevent widespread contamination of ground beef.
But, we think they can regulate healthcare (remember, pass it so you can find out what's in it?)

Right Winger, and proud of it.