Bill, I think you continue to miss my point. Which is cool. Makes for fun threads. To review: you posted a while ago that scores were dipping and that the guy was thus in trouble for his busing scheme. It sounded like you were emphasizing the busing over the scores, so I wrote in that it sounded like the scores might actually be pretty important. You give me a toldyouso where your own source mentions the key role of the scores so I remind you YEAH IT'S NOT JUST BUSING. You come back with a bunch of quotes where the players explain that it was a combination of busing and SCORES. Which has been my POINT. And I am arguing just to argue? WE are just arguing to argue, so let me be the one to concede: you're right; it's not about busing and scores, it's about busing and scores. Whatever
On to something important which is health care.
1) You failed to comment on my point that all of our Western friends believe it IS the role of government to bring healthcare to the people.
"If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merits of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning." --McNamara
I should add here that basically every American feels the same way, including the tea party, and the conservatives and republicans. Exactly which politicians have been suggesting, seriously, that the government disband medicare and medicaid? None, to my knowledge (please educate me). Government is already the biggest purchaser of healthcare and no sizable objection exists. Remember all those scared-by-republican-lies-about-death-panels citizens who told Obama "I don't want no stinking government messing in healthcare and don't you touch my Medicare?" Exactly. That about sums it up: America wants government in healthcare but remains conflicted about how.
2) Re: car insurance: you have the right to go without; you just can't drive a car then. Health insurance is exactly the same way. One could go without it, and just not get healthcare if one gets sick. That COULD happen. You just show me one person in North America who actually would NOT call 911 or go to an emergency room when they needed one (in fact, when they know they don't, but that's another story) and I'm ready to fold this argument. EVERYONE is insured. EVERYONE can then pay. You want to not pay? Then you can stay home and die when you get sick. Or be fabulously wealthy and without such worries (funny, they don't ever seem to do that). Want to kill the insurance requirement? Super. Kill EMTALA first. Make a real market in healthcare. Anything else is bullsheet.
If the government wants to, say, provide roads to all (even those people who opted not to drive because they don't want to pay for car insurance), they can, and do, tax everyone to do it. This means taxing people without cars, like the 15 year old burger flipper and the 90 year old retiree and the opt out crew, even though THEY don't get to use the system with their cars (they still benefit, of course, by the functioning city that results).
What is different when the government wants to provide healthcare to all, including people who don't currently need healthcare but are likely to, and taxes everyone to do it? In this case, that's exactly what's happening except the government provides a tax exemption for those who bought healthcare insurance. It so happens that requiring coverage this way MAKES POSSIBLE many other changes to insurance that benefit the masses which would fail immediately if insurance weren't required. For example, it's nice if people can buy coverage despite a prior condition, but if insurance isn't required, only the sick buy knowing they'll be saved if they need it, and an immediate tragedy of the commons results. And if we're quoting founders:
'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." --Franklin
Maybe you don't think the government should be delivering healthcare, but then, see point #1.
3) You don't like the bill because it was Democrats only. Uh, um... are we living in some alternate world now where the Republicans would wait for consensus from their colleagues before changing the laws? Where was I when, after recent and semi-recent Republican victories, they promised not to do anything without Democrat permission? I only remember Republicans threatening to block ANYTHING unless they got their way, or Republicans winning elections by a hair and claiming mandates. BOTH sides need to be less crazy and more cooperative and less controlled by their wingnuts, as I've opined before.
4) "The Democrats ignored their constituents' urgent needs, and chose instead to ram a partisan agenda through Congress. In doing so, they did harm."
Well, many people, including the majority of people without adequate healthcare, would say that their illnesses are actually an urgent need. Disagree with aspects of the program; that's cool. I kinda respect that after literally decades (everyone thought Nixon was going to get a major fix), they actually finally did something. At least they're trying.
Let's get into that harm a bit more. The idea that the bill is killing us is very interesting. First, we knew that, say, Bush's drug benefit was going to raise costs. I don't remember hearing a lot about harm and immediate needs and stuff then. I don't remember a groundwell of republicans horrified by the costs. Which were positive.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-k ... ll_cu.html
I know the CBO predictions are a little fuzzy, but while everyone is fixated on the insurance requirement in the bill, there is a lot of other stuff. Stuff that lowers costs. Here's an overview.
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/03/20/how- ... steps.html
Again, yes, it's not black and white, it's not 100% predictable, but it is again, also worth noting the lack of concern about the drug benefit we all knew would raise costs, and the fierce opposition here to a bill projected not to. I think somehow this would all have been much more palatable to the masses had it been the brainchild or at least stepchild of a Republican president. Some would say that would never happen, but ask Mitt Romney about that. Ask GWB about his drug benefit.