Soapbox – The Health Care Debate
August 18, 2009
I rarely voice my political opinion on my blog, mostly because I believe in a variety of viewpoints and in accepting the opinions and perspective of others, both political and otherwise. However, the current health care debacle has me digging in the closet and dragging out my soapbox.
I agree that this country is in need of a health care brainstorm session. Changes should be made to the current arrangement so health care coverage can be both accessible and affordable for everyone and there should be a illustrious debate in this country with a variety of sides and viewpoints so we can find the best reform. What is right now being called “the health care debate” is neither productive, informative or even what I would call a debate.
I am outraged that the Town Hall meetings that members of Congress have tried to do have turned into at best, theatrics, at worst fulmination. People have showed up to the meetings (sometimes even armed) not to become informed or to inform or engage, but to fear, harass and intentionally mis-inform. The media is fueling this fire and politicians on both sides are failing at explaining their stances by using dramatics and antics instead of facts and data.
I acknowledge there are legitimate anti-reform talking points, but the antagonizers attending these meetings aren’t using these valid points to sway opinion. They are using intimidating fallacies to sway public opinion and increase their anti-reform following. Current proposals do NOT call for “death panels” or encouraged euthanasia and are not, as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC puts it “a government plot to kill old people”. It simply calls for Medicare to provide reimbursement for consultations with your doctor regarding your end of life care. You do not have to have such a consultation if you do not want to. The proposal is simply paying for the appointment if you chose to have it. For those few rallying against government-run insurance programs, but who say they love their current Medicare/Medicaid plan, just an FYI – Medicare and Medicaid ARE governmental-run health insurance programs. Also, the proposals are not advocating a 100% switch to governmental health insurance plans, they are simply providing another option for you than your status quo health care plan. It does appear that there is a chance that some people may lose the option they currently have with their employer because some companies may end up choosing to drop their current offerings and I do think that is something that should be looked into further if you fear this may be the case for you. For those looking to fear monger the Veterans, rest assured, despite the sound bites, Veterans benefits are NOT diminishing in the new proposals. Also, sex changes are NOT mandatory in the new proposals (my personal favorite health care reform fallacy).
I’ve nearly given up hope that any kind of debate on this is going to be informative. I urge everyone to do their own research, form your own opinions and find respectful and productive ways to get them to your representatives if this is an issue you feel strongly about. Health care is undoubtedly a complex issue and one that affects everyone. I myself am not sure I find comfort in the fact that I can pretty much do what I want to my body and either my employer or the government will have my back.
Soapbox going back in the closet, but maybe not pushed quite as far back as before.