Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Want "Your" Country Back From What Exactly? II

Since today was a travel day for me, I didn't have the opportunity to get the video clips from Fox News and Hardball with the young woman, Katy Abram, who asked Sen. Specter to restore the country back to what the Founding Fathers created. I found this clip on Fox News that was taped right after the town hall meeting:

I finished that clip still confused by what it is that Abram thinks is "really" happening in this country that "scares the life out of [her]."

So, I looked forward to reviewing the Hardball clip to see if Abram really addressed that, or if O'Donnell really asked her. Here is the Abram interview conducted by Lawrence O'Donnell:

I thought that O'Donnell's questions were reasonable, but I still don't know what scares her about what is happening in the country right now. O'Donnell was gracious in making sure that Abram could feel as comfortable as possible. Hell, I would be nervous on national television. But, I remain unsatisfied.

I liked that O'Donnell took her comment to its logical conclusion with regard to Social Security and Medicare. Perhaps the opponents of health care reform, particularly those who cry "socialism" or "socialized medicine," should really consider advocating for opting out of those socialistic programs already in existence. Maybe it would be worthwhile to consider legislation that would allow people to opt out. I think some of my conservative and libertarian friends might find this an interesting prospect.

So, I'm still longing for an explanation of what is so frightening about what is happening in this country. I just don't see any reason to feel like the United States, with regard to health care reform proposals, is in danger of no longer being the country we all know and love.

Now a review of the last eight years might yield much more material for consideration when it comes to worrying about the potential loss of the country we know and love. Perhaps it good that Abram only just started paying attention to politics. Lord knows what she would have felt like if she'd been paying attention during the Bush years.


Anonymous said...

Pls lets not fall into the trap of giving this Abram person any more credence (none) than she's due.

Scott said...

Free, on the idea of "opting out" there is nothing in any of the current plans that would require anyone to "opt-in." The most controversial part of the plans, the "public option" is just that--an option.

As for opting-out of an existing program like Medicare there are a couple of problems. First, since Medicare is paid for by tax dollars that are taken out of every paycheck throughout your life, you'd have to make a decision to opt-in or opt-out very early in life. I don't think many 18-21 year olds are going to say to themselves, sure--take money out of my paycheck to pay my medical bills when I'm 65. So they'd opt out.

Then when they do turn 65 and find they can't get any kind of coverage they can afford (which was the reason for Medicare in the first place) what happens when they get sick? Do we as a society say---Sorry, you made the wrong choice 45 years ago, so now we have to just let you die? And if we do take care of them with a system like we currently have for the uninsured--either a welfare plan like Medicaid or simply public hospital emergency rooms, we end up still paying for their care with taxpayer dollars.

Single payer ("Medicare For All") makes so much sense. Too bad virtually nobody is even considering it.

Scott said...

An afterthought--the same reasoning about why the idea of "opting out" of Medicare is a bad idea applies to Social Security as well.

It's true that some people would be able to take the money that is currently deducted from their paychecks for FICA and invest it in ways that would give them a greater return in retirement than their Social Security benefit would come to, but many people would not.

Either through poor money management or retiring at the moment a recession hits and the market tanks, many people would find themselves with nothing to live on in retirement (which was, of course, the reason Social Security came about.) are retired and broke. Who takes care of you? Either we as a society say--nobody, you live on the street and eat pizza crusts out of a dumpster, or we take care of you with a taxpayer paid welfare program.

hscfree said...

@Scott: Some conservative friends of mine (via facebook discussions) have suggested exactly the idea that there should be consequences for people having made poor choices, and that the government has no business being involved. Once argued that charities and churches could fill the gap. I reminded him that that was one of the reasons that Roosevelt pushed for the programs he did with regard to social security: charities and churches were overwhelmed, and charitable gifts essentially dropped.

We are on the same page with regard to health care. I also believe that a single payer system, along with private insurance companies for those who can afford to pay for it, would be the best system for the U.S. Every citizen will be covered, and there will be an option for those who want more to get more through private insurers.

I think that there are many people in this country who see all forms of welfare as something that goes to those who don't deserve it. And there will be people who fall into that category. Yet, I think that the majority of those folks never consider that they could be those in need someday.

I suggested the call for attempting to opt out as a way to see if conservatives and libertarians who might stumble here would do what you did: analyze the idea, and/or suggest a different solution.

Scott said...

Free, my income in the last year has been about a third of what it was. I've cut the amount I have deducted from my check for United Way down to $40 per month.

I was stunned to get a United Way "thank you" note that shows that in the company I work for now, where I am one of the lowest paid of 270 employees, my $40 per month is the highest contribution made by anyone in the company, including management making 6 figure salaries.

So yeah, lets hear about how charity is going to pick up the burden.

As for the "it's their own fault, let them die" people, I donno. Corpses in the street--soooo unsightly, don't you think? And the flies...think of the fly problem!

Ok, I'll stop filibustering your blog now before I get all hostile and start dripping elitist sarcasm lol. Oh...too late huh. Sorry.

hscfree said...

If elitist sarcasm is your thing, drip away. LOL