Friday, July 31, 2009

Things I don't get about the health care reform debate

Here are a few things I don't understand about the health care reform debate. In particular, things I don't understand the media keeps letting the Republicans repeat ad nauseum:

I just don't understand how Republicans can keep making arguments that a government plan, or a public option, will lead to some new and terrifying "rationing" of care. "Oh, no your doctor will recommend something and some government bureaucrat will deny it!" We ALREADY HAVE rationing of care. Ask any doctor in this country - private insurance companies ration care by denying treatment all the time. And if you don't have insurance, then your care is rationed simply by your ability to pay. God forbid we ration care differently than we do now - say, by its effectiveness - because let's be honest, medical care is rationed now and always will be. Why? Because medical care, like any other resource, is not infinite or free.

Ditto for the scaaaaary talk about not being able to go to any doctor you want. Have these Republicans ever heard the phrase "out-of-network"? I'd say most Americans are already used to having to choose their doctors from a list provided by their private insurance companies. (And those who don't have insurance - if they can even afford to go to anything but the ER - are lucky to find a doctor who will take them at all.) Please don't pretend that the Fatherland is going to start assigning every person, without recourse, a single doctor (god forbid we have that kind of continuity of care anyway).

Finally, Republicans, please stop talking about the government being forced to pay for abortion under health care reform. Much as I would personally like to see every insurance company mandated to provide abortion coverage - most already do - AND the public option cover abortion, it will not happen and we all know it. Yes, theoretically it is possible that you could give someone a subsidy for health insurance, which they would use to purchase a private plan, which would cover abortion, which they would then need and receive. You also already give people money via the welfare system which they could use to pay for abortion, and give them food stamps which they could use to buy food which would then free up money that they could use for an abortion. If you don't want people to get abortions, then you should not give anyone money ever in any way, because they could theoretically use it to pay for abortion, since - funny, this - abortion is legal.

So those are a few things I don't understand. If any Republican members of Congress who read my blog want to explain them to me, please feel free.

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