Monday, August 10, 2009

That Town Hall I Missed

After a lot of initial anger about some of the more egregious provisions in the various health care bills, I calmed down and realized I had lost the big picture on what was being proposed. To get some information I went to my congresswoman's web site yesterday and asked a question via the email system. Even though my question has not been answered, it put me on a call list. (I provided my phone number, nothing nefarious here.) Tonight, the caller-id identified an incoming call as TELETOWNHALL (202-556-2270). Low and behold it was Susan Davis, fearing evil tea partiers such as myself (I presume), holding a telephone town hall. I started listening, but was interrupted by a bit of a family emergency and my own homework. But before I broke off, I was subjected to a number of truly sad stories about people who have lost their jobs and therefore their medical coverage and were now going to have to go without treatment. Now I think this is a literally pathetic excuse to do the damage proposed, but conservatives shouldn't ignore the tragic human issues involved. (The particular case involved a progressive disease like MS or muscular dystrophy, I can't exactly recall.)

So here is the conservative response to this real human tragedy. First, we should untie the knot between employement and health insurance. My employer doesn't provide my auto insurance or life insurance (although life insurance is offered, I don't take it.) Second, that woman should have been able to keep her health insurance and that would be a welcome reform. Third, if we are concerned about situations like this, then Congress has the power and has always had the power to include payment for health insurance as part of unemployment benefits. The point is, the social safety net already in place is a better place to deal with these unusual, but not rare situations. But it is typical of the left to play on our sympathies to pass legislation that becomes a cure far worse than the disease. Finally, if the woman was truly disabled as Susan Davis alleges, then both Social Security and Medicaid, imperfect perhaps, are available to help this woman. Improve the programs already in place rather than build wholesale new ones.

My larger point is that every ill that is supposedly cured by health care reform probably has a smaller, less-radical, or already-in-place solutions and spending trillions of dollars isn't necessary. I challenge my readers, few as you are, to show me a flaw in the current system that really requires a national health insurance scheme to fix.

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