Republican Arguments Against National Health Care

Something happened today. The same repugnicans who were swearing up and down that nationalized health care would rob the U.S. of its wonderful health care (the worst among the developed democratic nations of the world) are now arguing that nationalized health care will be so good that our existing denial of health care industry will not be able to compete.


Here’s the article from the times.

Obama Vows to End Stalemate on Health Care

Seriously. I have no idea how these how these people can state these two contradictory things and live with themselves. Have they no logic circuits in what passes for their brains?

Think about it. Nationalized health care will either fail to provide decent care for anyone and will fail miserably when put in direct competition with the all-powerful, all-wonderful, for-profit denial of health care industry. Or, nationalized health care will soundly defeat the denial of health care industry by providing better and more cost effective care.

If the former, then why are these idiots trying to stop nationalized health care from giving it a go and failing.

If the latter, then nationalized health care is indeed exactly what we have needed all along, as shown by every single civilized nation in the world. In which case, those who care about the people of this once great nation should welcome the opportunity to finally give nationalized health care a try.

There is simply no well-meaning way to justify opposition to the new Obama plan to give the uninsured a national health insurance company by which to provide some level of health care to the 46 million people with no care and the additional 20 million who are under-insured.

The only justification possible would be that they genuinely don’t give a rat buttock about those less fortunate than themselves and only want huge profits for the health insurance companies so that they can continue to pay their CEOs hundred-million dollar plus salaries.

Please let me know if you think you can find a well-intentioned interpretation of this despicable quote from the people who claimed for decades that nationalized health care would provide worse care.

“Forcing free-market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition,” the letter said. “Ultimately, we would be left with a single government-run program controlling all of the market.”


16 Responses to Republican Arguments Against National Health Care

  1. LOUDelf says:

    Don’t beat yourself up over this. We allow our politicians to lie, and double-talk like it’s an olympic event. It’s in their nature.

  2. pochp says:

    I think free market is a major threat to world peace.

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    The only justification possible would be that they genuinely don’t give a rat buttock about those less fortunate than themselves and only want huge profits for the health insurance companies

    I think that sums it up pretty well.

    America has this ingrained attitude that for whatever reason, there has to be a profit in it for it to work. If there is no profit then it isn’t worth having.

    That thought only adds to the pain of having a severe illness in your family knowing that that is just an opportunity for someone to not only legally exploit it, but do so with the government’s blessing and encouragement.

    Why else would so many be aghast at the idea that a terminally ill person might want to die with a little dignity. There is money to be made with terminally ill people hooked up to tubes and wires at hundreds of dollars per day.

    I better quit before I get started.


  4. Mr. Fusion,

    I agree completely. I have long thought it disgusting that we continue to pump air through the meat that was once a human being waiting patiently until the money runs out and then and only then unplugging the poor unfortunate victim.

    Anyone who has ever explained to a child that the dog or cat had to be put to sleep because s/he was suffering was either lying like hell to their children, or worse and more likely, treating their parents and grandparents worse than they treat their pets.


  5. bobbo says:

    I’ve always wondered why the brilliant capitalist fair trading exec’s of the USA didn’t push for single payer in order to make manufactured goods from the USA more competitive.

    This and so many other similar issues make me think they really are invested overseas with a REAL anti-American bottom line at issue===and they have a lump of coal for a heart.

  6. bobbo,

    Lump of coal for a heart? Not anymore. They burned it. Now they’ve got no heart at all.

    (This was a take off on an old line of mine about a sweet tooth. I had a sweet tooth … but I ate it.)

  7. bobbo says:

    Scot–its nice how we can respond to one another with even better thoughts.

    How long could a real conversation last?

  8. bobbo,

    With me a conversation can last indefinitely. I’ve had a conversation going on and off with a friend for about 17 years over whether dolphins are smarter than humans.

  9. bobbo says:

    But no similar conversation with Dolphins?

  10. Nope. They understand when we speak. We don’t understand when they speak. So, I never understood what they were trying to say. Perhaps it was, “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

  11. Zarove says:

    You know, it may help to actually understand the debate rather than tey to reinforce sterotypes. I mean, coem on, Repugnicans?

    The problem is, the two statements don’t acutlaly conflict. Repubicans see Nationalised Health Care as a Threat to the Medical Industries competitiveness, and since hey also view this competitive edge as a driving force in providing Health Care, and new advances, they’d argue that it would relaly curtail advancement if we went this route. They also argue that aas the Governemnt userps power over the HEath Care industry, it will force out private health cre profviders by using its massive respurces in beign able to oust them.

    This doens’t automaticlaly translate to them admitign the resopruces used to oust privat small clinics means the new Governemtn health care will also have many respruces for us to use, though.

    Rather, it just means the GOvenrment can use coersion to kill the funding of Private medical practices.

    Incidentlaly, the “no health care” system we have now isnt the worst int he Developed world. If you ever visit the UK or Canada you will swiflty learn the Single-Payer system they have developed doens’t actulaly work. THe NHS is far infirior tot he private lcinics int he UK, dispite the fact that the UK’s Governemtn often tries to coerce privat epactices and often userps its respruces.

    The UK will even Ration medicine, and has a lengthy history of peopel complainign abt sub par care. Lets nto forget hte infamy of mass checkups where everyoen is seen all at once, or the equelly infamous six to eight month waitign list to be refered to a specilist in case of somethign serious, like Cancer.

    Meanwhole, int he US, peopels treatment is much faser, and we tend to have a much higher rate of survival in Hostpitals than either Canada or the UK. Thats why Canadians gcoem south fo the baorder for Health Care.

    If Nationalised Health Care was so good,and out no health care system so bad, why woudl the Canadaisn forsake it for ours?

  12. bobbo says:

    Zargrove–you may disagree but I find “Repugnican” to be merely a bit of whimsy. It certainly does all come down to “values” and perhaps perceptions, so people can reasonably disagree.

    The baseline is established by the following question though: is the healthcare needs of a society better provided by a competitive for profit system or by a governmental controlled system? I could accept you competitive model as a rational answer if you didn’t support that notion by so many defective arguments:

    All systems ration care. The most severe rationing being having no heathcare at all.

    Profit by definition is money taken out of the “system” — ie money spent by patients but not spent on healtcare.

    USA ranks 16-17th in outcome measurements, meaning we spend more and get less than 16 other western societies.

    Cherry picking between USA and Canadian Healthcare systems when you have a choice means nothing.

    My bottom line is that too many people in the USA get no healthcare (only sick care when anything at all) and that by definition healthcare is a public good that is not an appropriate subject of marketplace regulation as it simply doesn’t work. “Arms length transactions” between informed participants does not describe doctor/patient relationships.

  13. Zarove says:

    Before you make assumptions about me, I’m not actually a Republican. I just don’t like the abuse, and by CHarecterising Republicans in such a way you basically make them into Cartoon Characters who play the role of Villains, which is not right. it also hinders you from taking anything they say seriously. Do you really think all Republican ideas are wrong?

    Incidentally, I’m not really a died int he wool capitalist either. I’m no where near a Socialist, either. In fact, you can reject both, though people seem oblivious to this as a possibility and think those are the only options.

    I also disliek the flagrant misrepesentation fo he debate. this relaly isn’t about evil no good Repubnlicans hwo don’t care about the peopel and only care abut money VS dcaring and compassionate Democrats who want Universal health care because htey truly care for us all.

    Its about a differing poitn f view between two ideas that can be rationally defended, and in which peole have legitimate ocncerns over.

    IE, those who oppose Unviersal health Car epoitn out that it wudl increase the tax burden which in turn will cause prices ot skyrocket, which will harm the poor.

    And, the US actulaly doens’t have the lowest health care system in the developed world. Most of the Stats that say this are form soruces that are either Biased, or fromt he media which seem sunable to usnerstand the statistics.

    The truth is, the American system actulaly provides a higher wuality of care for individuals who awuire said care.

    Also, its wrong to asusme its a “no health care” system, as the op ed does. Back when I was younger, I had no job and no insurance, and then expeirnced a massive injury. I was STILL cared for by a Hospital, and managed to recieve top notch care. I nealry died, but this wa sprevente dby our current Health Care system.

    In fact, the US Health Care system isn’t all about beign able to pay to recieve health care, as I coudkn’t. We alreayd allot tax money for thise who can’t afford it.

    Yiu cant just look at this gross simplistic Caracature and asusme the Op Ed knows what hes on about.

  14. Zarove,

    I do not think all republican ideas are wrong. I do think nearly all Republican ideas are wrong. Note the difference in capitalization. The Republican party has adopted a platform over the last 28 years that can essentially be summed up by saying that “life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

    I agree that (not capitalist) may not equal socialist.

    I would also state that (not Republican) does not equal Democrat. I vote the democratic ticket almost but not quite exclusively only because they are a lesser evil in my opinion. The Democratic party is actually the party that killed the party that most closely represents my ideals, the Liberal party. You may have noticed they are no longer on the ballot. The Democrats did not like the competition.

    Both Democratic and Republican politicians are wholly bought. I just happen to agree with more of the people that buy Democrats than the people who buy Republicans.

    I fail to see how a government health care program would cause costs to skyrocket. We already pay more than any other developed democratic nation in the world.

    As for our health care being the worst among the developed democratic nations, check the CIA statistics.

    Here’s the wikipedia page, a usually unbiased source, of life expectancy by country. They cite CIA data, which is sorted alphabetically, rather than by life expectancy, if you want to check the numbers. I think the CIA may be biased, but would likely not be biased against the U.S. or in favor of nationalized health care.

    Surprisingly, as of the time I checked this link, we’re now up to 45th best health care in the world, ahead of Denmark at 47, so, yes, not the worst anymore. Woo Hoo!

    Now let’s check on infant mortality and see where we are today.

    According to wikipedia, again citing the CIA World Factbook, we are the worst among developed democratic nations on infant mortality, being bested by Cuba, among others.

    So, things are pretty bad in this country. We do indeed provide emergency room care for everyone, as you state. However, well patient care i simply not available to 47 million people.

    The important thing about what is going on in the Republican party right now, and some of the Democrats as well, is that they used to make the case that nationalized health care would be worse and more expensive. Now they are claiming that a national plan in competition with private insurance will have an unfair competitive advantage.

    These two positions are at odds with each other. They are contradictory. And yet, the same induhviduals make the case both ways.

    Also note that a national plan to which anyone may subscribe was put forth by an icon of conservatism, Richard Nixon, in 1974. Had he not been a criminal, we might have had nationalized health care today.

  15. Zarove says:

    Actually to sum up the enture Republican platorm as “Life begisn and conception and ends at natural death” is ridiculous. Not only does it exclude the fact that not all Republicans are Pro-Life, just as not all Democrats are Pro-Choice, it fails to see the reality of the Party your talking about, which is the fatal flaw in this topic to begin with.

    The Republican Party generlaly represents the ideal of Limited Government, Low Taxation, and Maximum personal independance and Responcibility. Thus, the Rerpublican Party tends ot oppose any large governmental programme ebcause they feel the Governmetns role in our lives shoudl be limited, while thinking that we shoudl allow Private Charities and other orginisatiosn to grow with limied regulation. They also think Govenrment regulatiosn on Private business ventures shoudl be limited.

    In contrast, the Democrsts tend to want Government Regulation to increase on Private CHarities and on Private corporations. Democrats tend to be for a social welfare system in which each member f osciety gives to a pool of resources to be distributed to all other members. They have, basicllau, embraced Socialism.

    And ts form this that you can see why the Republicans woudl oppose the Naitonalisaion of Health Care. Rather you agree wth it or not, you shoudl not simply Charecterise the Republican Party as evil and cruel for its oposition sicne its rooted in a Philosophy that tells us that the Governments role shoudl be limited. They see the idea as an increase in Govenrmental intrusion.

    It’d also increase the Tax Burden, since Naitonalised Health Care woudl require Tax Dollars to oprate, and htus the taxation of the citesenry woudl need ot be increased.

    Thats why Modrn Denmark imposes such heavy taxation on its citesens. As fdoes Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and all other Socialist Naitons. In Sweden, they take over half of your income t finance the social welfare programmes, for example.

    A Republican wodl find htis appaulign and wudl argue that tis best to allow peopel to retian the product of their labour.

    As to the efficency of the Healthcare system, I stand by what I said earlier. The United Kingdoms NHS is a prime exampel fo Naitonalsied Health Care, and it snot only horrendously expensivd, but far less effective and well orginised as are the Private CLinics int he UK.

    People prefer, in fact, to go to the independant clinics they have to pay for.

    Which is osmethign your nto relaly lookign at here, since ypu seem to think Naitnalised Health Care woudl mean that no Health Care woudl b private and everyoen wudl be using the Public Health services offere dby the Govenrment.

    In most SOcialised Health Care syetms, ther eis a THriving private sector which is utilised by thos with the funding.

    This is because the Helath Services that are provide dby Govenrments are notoriosuly bad. They raiton supplies and Helaht Care around what a Centralised authority thinks is nessisary and often end up makign decisiosn on who is treated and who sint base don their own budgetary concerns, not humanitarian consideratios.

    Of coruse you want to mention lifepsans, but this too is misleading. Do you relalythink hat this si due soley to Americas poor Health Care? Its not. A lot of the problem in America rests on Americans themselves, not on the Health care provided.

    Americans tend ot eat fatty foods and lead sedate lives. THey’ll drive ot a store thats wthin a reasonable walkign distance ot pick up a candy bar and a loaf of bread, for crygnout loud.

    Americans tend to sit in fornt of hte TV and wathc it , or play video games, whilst eatign horebley fatty foods.

    COntrasted tot he Europeans, where cycling and wlakign is far mroe common, and where people tend to eat far healthier food, Americans are simply killing htemselves with their lifestyle choices regardign Health.

    This own’t be solved by Any Health Care system and will be remedid only when Americans redisvocer keepign physiclaly fit.

    Also, you shodl chekc the figures on Infant mortality. Its relaly ot a good sign either since Europe tends to also allow for aboriton-on-demand and also has far fewer peopel in its general populaiton curve.

    Its lie cmparing the overall death toll in a city of 6000 to the overall deaht toll in a city of 600’000. Even if the percentage is higher, its only to be expected by Geometric considerations.

    You relaly shoudl lloomk into the quality of the Natinalised Health Care itself, andnot just standad statistics and averages.

    I’ll be back later to explain more.

  16. Zarove,

    Actually to sum up the enture [sic] Republican platorm [sic] as “Life begisn [sic] and conception and ends at natural death” is ridiculous. Not only does it exclude the fact that not all Republicans are Pro-Life, just as not all Democrats are Pro-Choice, it fails to see the reality of the Party your talking about, which is the fatal flaw in this topic to begin with.

    The Republican Party generlaly [sic]represents the ideal of Limited Government, Low Taxation, and Maximum personal independance [sic]and Responcibility. [sic]

    Actually, how many Republican POLITICIANS are not pro-life? I’m under the impression that the vast majority are. Even Giuliani, staunchly pro-choice as Republican/Liberal mayor of New York, switched to pro-life to run a presidential campaign.

    To say that the Republican Party represents limited government is to place yourself squarely in the era of Nixon and earlier. It is true that the party once represented this. However, since the conversion to the borrow and bomb party, the Republican Party has abandoned its core constituency in favor of enormous government, high taxes (though always paid by the next administration who gets stuck with the bills for the debt), and huge control over one’s personal life, as well as war war war.

    To ignore the changes in the last 28 years is to ignore the current Republican Party platform as well as the efficiency with which they get their politicians to toe the line nearly 100% on all issues.

    In contrast, the Democrsts tend to want Government Regulation to increase on Private CHarities and on Private corporations. Democrats tend to be for a social welfare system in which each member f osciety gives to a pool of resources to be distributed to all other members. They have, basicllau, embraced Socialism.

    Keep in mind that I am a Liberal, not a Democrat. However, I will say this, socialism is NOT about higher taxation and corporate regulation. Socialism is government ownership of business.

    A national health care plan would indeed cost more in taxes. However, we would save enormous money from our payroll that currently goes to pay for a denial of health care industry that really must be stopped.

    We spend far more on health care than any other developed democratic country and get far less.

    Further, if you are for capitalism and for corporate ability to compete, why burden corporations with the job of social welfare? This is truly crippling. My company pays me $30K/yr more than my actual salary (albeit, 30K minus my own contribution for the plan) to provide me with health insurance. This is insane.

    I do not believe there would be no private health care under a nationalized plan. I simply believe that a very good basic level of care that includes preventative medicine can be provided. People who want to buy additional insurance or pay out of pocket are welcome to do so.

    Physical fitness is a great thing. I agree that part of our problem is that we are fat and lazy. However, I think that 47 million people with no preventative medicine are a huge drag on our numbers. I cannot see that increased fitness will get us up to world standards.

    Certainly, infant mortality has nothing to do with fitness and our numbers there are appalling. Cuba does better. Does that say nothing to you?

    To claim that lower infant mortality is due to legal and available abortion is an extremely ridiculous claim. Infant mortality is expressed in deaths per 100,000 births. Abortions are ignored in that statistic. Infant mortality has even been called a greater indicator of health than life expectancy since it cuts across all of society more equally than life expectancy. It’s probably still not equal but is more equal across society than life expectancy.

    If you want to look for what to blame our infant mortality on, look to lack of prenatal care in poor people and overuse of cesarean section in wealthy. Our for-profit health care system rewards doctors who choose C-section at the first opportunity since they can and do charge a lot more for it.

    Lastly, you really do have a lot of intelligent things to say. Please download firefox and turn on spell checking. The number of typos in your posts is so large as to be a major distraction.

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