Little more than a gaggle of hacks and geeks.

When Conservatives Hate the Troops

with 10 comments

A fictitious conversation between a conservative politician and I over the issue of healthcare:

Paleo: Sir, do you support the troops?

CP: Of course I love the troops. They are some of the best and brightest America has to offer. These brave men and women embody what it means to be loyal, to sacrifice, and to love one’s country. They are fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, they are real American heroes.

Paleo: Alright. Now, you know as well as I do that many of these real American heroes end up in war, and war is a messy thing. Unfortunately, many making it through the fog do so with injuries, whether they be physical, psychological, or even emotional…

CP: Of course. I have been to Iraq. I have been to Afghanistan. I have been to medical facilities around the world where our troops are being cared for. I have listened to their stories, and as a congressman I have promised to honor their sacrifice and commitment to liberty and freedom, both here and abroad.

Paleo: Well, it is interesting that you mention that. It actually touches on what I wanted to talk to you about. As you are well aware, many of these troops incur physical injuries that leave them  temporarily or even permanently disabled. And if they aren’t coming home with physical wounds, many are returning with service connected psychological disability. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bi-polar, anxiety and panic disprders, you name it. These are rampant!

CP: I am very aware of this problem. It pains me to see the extent of these ailments This is one of the many reasons I fight so hard for increasing funding for the Veterans Affairs. Their services are invaluable to the men and women who have served this country.

Paleo: Do you believe that the VA is providing top-notch health care?

CP: Absolutely. But I think that we as a nation have an obligation to continue assuring them this care. I have a consistent voting record to increase funding to the VA.

Paleo: So it is your position that the VA is providing top of the line health care?

CP: Yes.

Paleo: Is it as good as the type of health care provided to men and women who haven’t joined the military?

CP: Yes. The technology is state of the art, and the care they receive from the staff is very good.

Paleo: So you think that a single-payer system of socialized medicine provides health care that is just as good or even better than the private for-profit system?

CP: Um, well no. America’s health system is the best in the world, and it is the best in the world because it is a private system that relies upon competition.

Paleo: But you just said that the taxpayer-funded, socialized health care system known as the VA is top of the line, that their technology was state of the art, and that they provide excellent patient care.

CP: Yes.

Paleo: Then why did you backpedal by immediately declaring that very same system and the care it provides to be inferior to privately owned, for-profit health care facilities?

CP: The VA provides great services for our brave men and women…

Paleo: Yeah, yeah, I got that part. But it is inferior to the kind of health care that civilians receive in private, for-profit facilities.

CP: I never said that.

Paleo: Sure you did. Now, given that you believe private, for-profit health care is superior to the taxpayer funded socialized medicine of the VA, will you now fight for the complete privatization or abolition of the VA?


Paleo: Where is the answer to that in your playbook, sir?

Option 1:

  • If you believe that socialized medicine in evil.
  • If you believe that it provides inferior services over against private, for-profit providers.
  • If you want veterans to get the best care possible.
  • Then you will fight tooth-and-nail to completely privatize the VA.

Option 2:

  • If you believe the VA is providing the best possible care for veterans.
  • If you don’t wish civilians to be covered under a similar system.
  • Then you don’t mind civilians receiving inferior care for no other reason that their not having decided to join the armed forces.

10 Responses

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  1. Totus Tuus ad Jesum Per Mariam

    You have failed to take many things into consideration. I will speak only in generic principles here, because honestly I don’t know the quality of health care that our soldier’s receive, though from what I have heard it isn’t very good but indeed terrible.

    It is not inconsistent to say that the government will provide health care for some but not health care for all, even if all citizens are paying for the health care of the few. In certain cases, such as our soldiers, cops, firefighters, and even those who are in grave need and unable to pay (such as the infirm elderly, orphans, widows without children, etc.), the tax payer can fit the bill. In the case of the “public servants” it is precisely because they serve the public that the public can and should care for them. They risk their lives for us and we benefit from their service. Therefore it is not injustice for us to provide for them but indeed it is justice for us to provide for them.

    In the case of the infirm, the widow, the orphan, certainly it isn’t injustice for the tax payer, (or the government whatever you wish to say), to pay. The reason is that all of us can be infirm, all of us could have been orphaned or raise offspring who will be orphaned, and all of us could be widowed or leave a widow, so all of us could potentially benefit from a safety net. Even Warren Buffet could lose all his money and need care. All are exposed to poverty, but not all will be rich, thus it is just for there to be a safety net. But the safety net must be exactly that, an emergency safety net, we don’t need to pay for their “health-insurance” but only their health care and only when the need arises. Though perhaps a provision could be made for check-ups and “pre-screening”, though this must be kept within reason. And the welfare should follow the law of subsidarity and be kept at the local level, (county hospitals), for many assorted reasons.

    You also didn’t take into consideration the scale about which we are talking. To cover 300 million people, plus a countless amount of illegals, is much different then a few million.

    Also, single payer (Federal Government), is much different then a many payer program, (State, county, town, etc.).

    You must also remember that people must be as self-reliant as possible, not that they must be without God or their neighbor, but that they can provide for their family and themselves without need of another. It is best if as many people have an ability to provide for themselves a decent living and keep themselves out of poverty, that is why the family, property, and true liberty must be protected and promoted. If this principle is applied to health care, it is best if as many people as possible provide for themselves their own health care.

    I would argue that it is precisely because a big and wasteful government is sticking its nose in even aspect of our daily lives and in particular to this argument our health care system.

    So I guess I come down with a third option;
    1. Promote self-reliance and make laws that encourage people to provide their own health care.
    2. Provide a safety net for all who are unable to provide health care for themselves, and punish those who commit fraud harshly.
    3. Keep health care to as local a level as possible.
    (4. Investigate the root causes of the high costs of health care, what creates inflation in prices, and how best to deal with the fraud.)

    I am certain I know much less then you in these matters but I do think you are overlooking some options. It is interesting how debates can be shaped in such a way as to be an argument between to bad options (Socialism or dying old people). I await your rebuttal on anything I said that was incorrect and your comments and insights.


    (P.S. Happy Anniversary)

    Apostle of Mary

    November 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

  2. As a veteran who has been cared for by 6 different VA facilities over the years, I can say that my experience with them has been excellent. The waiting is short, the service is excellent, and their first concern is your well being rather than your insurance. Not bad.

    My only complaint is that they are restricted to certain drugs, some of which are needed by veterans. The other is that the VA does not directly care for the spouses. It is through a companion group that can be rather difficult.

    My point wasn’t so much that it is being paid for by taxpayers (though this is doomsday talk for conservatives!) as it was that it was socialized healthcare.

    It is one thing for the government to insure these public servants, but it is something altogether different to allow this particular coverage to only apply when in government run medical facilities. It isn’t like these folks are getting government insurance and then running off to their local for-profit, privately owned facility. No, they are getting government insurance and government care at government facilities.

    I do find it rather interesting that you reference cops and firefighters. These are socialized services. But why? Why not allow firefighting companies to compete? Why not allow police forces to compete? If competition makes everything better, cheaper, and more efficient, then why are we going with the inferior care of socialized services in these two fields?

    I mean, I have used the fire department one time in 12 years as an adult. The cops? One time, but they were pulling me over. So we pay for the socialized police and firefighters “just in case” we need them. Why not case-by-case like any other service? The people that use them the most, at least on average, are reckless, living in sin and crime. Why should I have to pay for them?

    Watch out how you answer. You’ll have to apply it to healthcare.

    Lastly, as much as I would like to say that we should just live like free men, independent and free from the need of socialized medicine, I just don’t buy it. This may have been realistic in a day and age when doctors work for profit, one of the first questions providers ask is what insurance you have, and insurance providers make more money not by helping people but by turning them away.

    A lot to think about, and I have very few answers… and by very few I mean almost none.


    November 28, 2008 at 6:12 pm

  3. Totus Tuus ad Jesum per Mariam

    A great solution to the problem of the insurance companies is to get rid of them or force health insurance to work like every other insurance which is in case of catastrophe only. Fire insurance covers you when your whole house burns down or at least when dramatic damage is incurred. Life insurance doesn’t cover “near death” experiences, but only actual death. Car insurance doesn’t cover oil changes and gas, it covers you when you get hit by a truck. But Health Insurance covers you when you need pills but not when you get cancer. It wants to get rid of you when disaster strikes just like a life insurance company wants to get rid of you just before you die. Why? Because they are greedy capitalists who must be restrained.

    What restrains them? The people can to some degree, free-competition (if it is authentic), fear of God (dreadfully unlikely and unreliable), and good old “Uncle Sam”. I have no problem with the government protecting the poor person from the Insurance company. Any state has a duty to defend the property of its citizens and when someone pays for a service, (which is a form of property), they deserve to receive that service. When an insurance company steals they deserve to be punished severely, especially because of the situation surrounding the fraud, (stealing from dieing or gravely sick people after years of them having your insurance.)

    So as far as insurance companies having free reign, I guess you would say I’m not a conservative or a free-market man. That doesn’t really matter to me.

    As far as the VA being good, as I said I did not speak with any authority and am very pleased to have my original assumption be wrong. Perhaps, and again I speak without authority, the government can handle health care for a certain group of the population, such as those in the armed forces, very well. But if they can handle it because it is only a small group of people, or because they can operate at a net-loss, (something a business could never do), or because they have the discipline and oversight of the Army (one of the few government institutions that is generally effective). Those three reasons, and I’m not saying those are the only reasons or even reasons but only potential reasons, would be impossible to replicate in the general population.

    Firefighters don’t need state funding necessarily, as a group of private citizens could do it with private funding or even funding themselves. In the case of fire-fighting it truly is a case by case basis. They don’t need to patrol the streets looking for buildings which are about to burn down, or even prevent fires, they only need to put them out after they have started. If, however, a state wishes to run the fire department then it is justice for the state to take care of them, (a living wage so to speak).

    As far as cops, you can’t divorce the law from a state, (or you will have anarchy), thus you can’t divorce law enforcement from the state. Just as you can’t divorce the judges from the state, for they rule on behalf of the state. Cops aren’t need only “when the buildings on fire” so to speak, (that is when the crime is taking place), but they are needed to enforce the law after the crime has taken place. They can intercede while the crime is taking place, and their presence does deter crime, (your less likely to speed when you see a cop with his radar gun at the side of the road), but their principle role is to bring the criminal to justice. (Just as in the spiritual order in which the Law of Moses could only bring sin and condemnation because it only tells us that we have disobeyed God.) You may only meet them when you break the law, but you know that the cops are always out making sure that some guy won’t rob you when your doing your radio program, and that if he does he will be brought to justice. The cops protect your rights from those who would take them for personal gain.

    So why should you have to care for them?
    Because of the service they provide.

    Why must they provide that service?
    Because you can’t divorce law from law enforcement.

    Why must the state run the police department?
    Because you can’t separate the state from the law.

    Why not “case-by-case” basis for the police?
    1. With every second that goes by there is a potential for someone to take away one of your rights or properties, thus the constant protection of the police can be thought of as a case-by-case basis. (For you use their protection every second).
    2. They also are constantly bring those who harmed your neighbor to justice.
    Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    As far as the people who use them the most being those living in sin and who commit crimes, aren’t those the very people the police use the force of law against. Your asking the cops to put them in jail because you don’t want them killing your children when they go to school.

    If you are referring to those who are in “bad neighborhoods”, you need to understand what equals a bad neighborhood; a neighborhood that is bad is a neighborhood that doesn’t obey just laws. Thus to get rid of the police is to promote lawlessness, and lawlessness leads to evil. Indeed a just and well-equipped police force lead to a civilized society.

    In all of that I assume you aren’t being serious, for I know you are no anarchist.

    As far as all that applying to health care I don’t see it. The police provide a service the state needs for its existence, and that all individual citizens benefit from constantly. Health of the citizens is not necessary for a states very life, though it is quite beneficial. Health is more like firefighters, very good and highly important to a society, but not absolutely necessary to the state, but necessary only to the members of that state.

    Health care is something that can theoretically be run by the state, though entirely state run health care would make me fear socialism and the loss of protection of the government from abusive health care. Uncle Sam would even more easily throw you out of the hospital than the insurance company because you have very little if no power over them. At least with an insurance company you can sue them if there is abuse and make them lose business and thus take down the company. You can’t really do that with the government, especially when the rich and those with influence “have no idea what you are talking about” and “have always received nothing but the best care”. (Of course those who are important wouldn’t have a problem, it always the little guy who gets shafted.)

    I personally don’t want to trust the government with my heart when it takes them 6 months to put up my street sign. And even though they can provide good health care from some, I don’t trust them to do it for all well.

    Many other things must be considered; for example you have a heart attack and at the same time the governor needs a liver transplant but they don’t have on on-hand. Well, oops, we “made a mistake” during the procedure and you died on the table. “Afterward” we used your liver to help save our “beloved governor”. Don’t think it wouldn’t happen because whats to stop it from happening? A little nothing like you or me, especially when it is your word, (or if your dead your wife’s word) over their word. And “how could their word be wrong? After all they care about you.”

    No my friend socialized medicine scares me greatly, especially when considering the poor and the infirm. Why let the elderly “drain resources”, or give the terminally ill a “comfortable and costly death”. Throw them in the ally and let them die quickly and inexpensively. Will those who don’t pay taxes or who pay little taxes be treated equally as those who don’t? And what if a tax payer and a non-tax payer both need an organ but only one is available, who will get it? Why wouldn’t the government describe any of these situations as “unfortunate events”?
    (See “US Indifference to Massacre”

    Many other hypothetical situations could be considered.

    My friend, I earnestly fear that wide spread government health care would dramatically hurt the poor, the infirm, the widow et cetera.

    (Remember I am for helping all those people with a type of socialized medicine. But at as local level as possible. And provide direct health care not insurance.)


    Apostle of Mary

    November 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm

  4. I’m 100% with Apostle on this.

    “I would argue that it is precisely because a big and wasteful government is sticking its nose in even aspect of our daily lives and in particular to this argument our health care system.”

    Do you REALLY want President “The First Thing I’ll DO is Sign the Freedom of Choice Act” and the Obamabots making health care decisions for you and your family?

    With that much power comes awesome responsibility – and the government is (and has been) heading in the wrong direction on ALL the life issues for decades. There is a huge difference between policing and fire fighting and the moral decisions that must be made in health care (such as parental notification in abortions, euthanasia etc).

    I would agree to a non-profit CATHOLIC single payer system run under the auspices of the Church and it’s teachings – but it will be a cold day in Hades before I allow the secular, anti-Christian US Gov’t to force me to pay for abortions with tax dollars, or cooperate with eliminating parental notification laws, and denying infants born alive from botched abortions the right to life. In health care it’s the “golden rule” – he that has the gold gets to make the rules.

    In my opinion the VA (and military hospitals) provides lousy care that is rationed – not based on patient needs – but on their ability to provide. Their mental health system is overwhelmed and they are now outsourcing this to private providers (ones on their list of course). I am a military retiree and we were promised “health care for life” as part of our retirement package. The local base has stopped seeing retirees due to manning shortages (part of that “peace dividend” Bush 41 & Clinton promised by cutting manning). Any government big enough to give you everything you want – is big enough to take it away.

    After an entire career in the military – I have had enough of “government” to last me a lifetime. They are bloated and never ending growing bureaucracies (at every level) that suck the life and soul out of people to feed their insatiable need for more power and tax money.

    Government subsidies of big corporations (especially health care related such as pharmaceuticals) are another major concern.

    In a most disturbing trend – elected governments are more and more being replaced with “public / private partnerships” run by UNELECTED and UNACCOUNTABLE, “stakeholders” appointed by governments affiliated with NGO’s funded by tax-free foundations (such as the Rockefeller’s and their population control agenda).

    The UN Agenda 21 and “Smart Growth” being implemented through local and state governments is a perfect example.

    Finally, having the Federal government as a single payer is the antithesis to the principle of subsidiarity. The next logical step after the inevitable collapse of the dollar under the Ponzi scheme that is the Federal Reserve is world government (the “single payer of last resort”).

    We need to take power FROM the Federal Gov’t – not give it more. Abolishing Medicare/Medicaid, the Dept of HHS, Education, Energy, Agriculture, & the EPA would be a good start.


    November 29, 2008 at 4:20 pm


    You are correct to say that insurance programs such as life, fire and auto are on a need-by-need basis and that they don’t cover every close call or minor scratch. But these, apart from the insurance following on the heels of your final breath, are concerning things, inanimate objects. I would feel rather uncomfortable comparing, even loosely, how we ought to insure a car and how we should insure the health of a living soul created in the image of God. Just a little caution on that one.

    But take fire. Yes, fire insurance only covers serious damages. But firefighters come to your house when you have a gas leak. They come to your home when you might have a gas leak. They will arrive on the scene when someone is in physical danger. They help and often save lives, and all of this apart from a house burning down. We pay for this. We pay for this prior to the event, in light of mere possibility.

    Then you talked about police. A socialized police force as we have now has not always been a reality. They could operate ex post facto. Instead, they function as both a enforcement agency and a preventative force. They take care of problems before they get out of hand, before they become crimes, before they become the kind of actions that need legal enforcement. So long as they function in this capacity, your use of them as an example is with fault. Not to say it is without any merit, just lacking.

    You are correct to say that with each and every passing second there is a crime about to be committed somewhere. The same can be said of disease or the need for medication and surgery. Insurance that works not only as-needed and not only for the most severe and life-threatening situations. Sounds familiar.

    One problem I see here is your understanding of socialized medicine. Our tax dollars may provide the insurance, making a massive pool out of the nation at large, but this is a far cry from full-blown government control. Different countries have different systems. Not all are the same. Furthermore, even if the transplant issue is a potential problem (and it may be), it is just as much, if not more, problematic in our current system where money speaks much, much louder.

    If we have anything to learn from countries that have experimented with different forms of this, it is that they aren’t typically characterized as throwing people into the street or alleys. But this is a very sad reality in our system.

    Question 1: What is the problem?
    Question 2: Can I see your health insurance card?

    Answering the wrong way on #2 may have serious consequences…


    November 29, 2008 at 6:13 pm

  6. JB,

    For you to tie euthanasia or abortion in with this matter is an unfortunate oversimplification. The government could make rules on these matters under any insurance system, be it socialized or privatized.

    Under many socialized systems the people still have discretionary rights as how and when to use their insurance. They also have the right to pick from various health care providers. One provider may leave euthanasia on the table, another may not. As it stands now, even under the private system, most doctors are required to at least talk to patients about abortion and euthanasia.

    Nice try with subsidiarity, but it won’t work. The Church has talked about the government having a right and responsibility to be involved in health care. The level or degree by which this is to be done is up for debate, but to treat subsidiarity like a recipe for libertarianism is rather silly.

    You and I have had a different experience with the VA. For sake of clarity, I would never assume that every individual has the same appreciation or view of their care as I do. Rather, I was simply pointing out my personal experience and view of the provider.


    November 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm

  7. Totus Tuus ad Jesum per Mariam

    Dear Paleo,

    It is not as though I am valuing the human person to that of a car or house, but it is true that certain principles transcend. If there is no problems with car insurance, home-owners insurance, et cetera, but great problems with health insurance it does us well to look at the differences and try to see why one works and one doesn’t. Though I see your concern, that by making that comparison one can be led to treat humans as ‘bodies to be treated’, something which would greatly devalue human life, it is true that we are trying to find a system best suited to treat the largest numbers of people in the best possible ways and because of that fact the individual will be lost among the numbers. We must never forget, however, that they entire purpose of health care is the treating of the individual, and that our reason for doing so is the Glory of God and the inherent dignity of the human person.

    As far as the principle of subsidarity, you overlook the fact that the fire department and the police force both operate at the most local level possible, and are therefor quite successful. All I am proposing is trying to keep the “payer system” as local as possible for many assorted reasons.

    The reduction of fraud.

    The lack of limitless resources which create a tendency of “throwing more money at the problem”, (like our bailouts), and would keep budgets tight and reduce waste. Prudence will have to chart the proper course of liberality with the money and care and preservation of the resources for all.

    Spread the risk of government stupidity. Such as the government stole all the money from the social security fund and spent it. Many different states would spread the risk of a bankrupt system (which would be a disaster for all who are relying on it without any other recourse.)

    Increase the power of those being treated. If the government starts treating us unjusting, stealing our money, abusing those in hospitals, et cetera, it would be much easier to kick them out of office and regain control of a just and effective system. With a massive federal system it could take the removal of countless senators and congressmen which would take an enormous, bi-partisan, and national effort and in my estimation that is incredibly unlikely if not impossible.

    It also reduces the risk of abortions and euthanasia being funded by this insurance. If fifty states all have to decide for themselves, as opposed to the federal government, the likelihood of all supported either one or the other, or both, is substantially lessened.

    Et Cetera, et cetera…

    I did not say that every second a crime is being committed therefore we need a police force to be always present and available, but that there is always a potential for our liberty to be forcibly taken by another and thus it is just for a group of citizens to gather together in order to preserve order and justice on behalf of all the citizens of that state.

    As far as the police only “righting wrongs”, that is enforcing the laws after crimes, that would essentially give criminals free reign to harm you, for you wouldn’t be able to call the police if a raving lunatic was coming on your property with a gun. You would have to wait until he shot you or committed a crime, by that time you may be dead and the police are no help to you. It seems crime prevention, or at the very least protection of the citizens from crime, should be a high priority of police.

    One could argue that in health care doctors do the same thing, removing tumors despite them being benign, removing cancer before it can harm the body, giving preventative medications, et cetera, they do these things because they aren’t supposed to only make the sick healthy but keep the healthy that way.

    My point about day to day health care needs is to emphasis self-reliance. It is of great importance to any society that its members try to rely on themselves as much as possible seeking societies help on in common interest or grave need. If a man bruises his arm he should but an ice pack on his arm and go about his life, and if he wants pain medicine should go and buy it himself at a local pharmacy.

    I also believe that only those who are unable to pay should not pay. If I can pay for my health needs, even if I need to sacrifice greatly, I should do it. That is what a real man does, what a virtues man does, he works as hard as he can for the Glory of God, his self betterment, the life of his family, and the growth of his community. If, however, a man is unable to care for himself it only justice that as Christians we sacrifice a little, (as the cost would be spread over a large percentage of the population), for someone made in the image and likeness of God.

    I believe that if we give health care to all people will become complacent and “entitled”, instead of grateful and deserving. That men will believe that “well you have to pay for my health care”, instead of realizing that I am being cared for by the generosity of my brothers who do not wish for me to suffer and are willing to sacrifice for me. I fear that if it covers all, or should I say provides all health care for all in all cases, (for I believe all should be protected under this safety-net), would do much harm.

    Again, I reiterate, I support a socialized insurance program that would cover all, specifically for those unable to pay. I also believe this should be handled at as local a level as possible.

    Money doesn’t talk, it screams. My fear is that if the government gets all the money, and thus has all the power, how will it be constrained? At least in this system recourse can be made to the government if all else fails, were do we have recourse if the government says no, we shall not pay, unless you….?
    What then is the poor man to do? The rich will always be able to find care, after all money talks. The poor man, easily overlooked by the government, what care will he receive?

    I understand you point about the government paying it all as opposed to actually running the hospitals, but the one who writes the checks is ultimately responsible, (as we can see by the power of the insurance companies).

    Perhaps my fears are uncalled for, but I would personally like to know more about the state of Europe’s health care. I don’t know how related the socialized health care is to the bankruptcy of Iceland, and if you know it would interesting, but it does not bode well of nationalized health care.


    Apostle of Mary

    December 2, 2008 at 12:51 am

  8. The modern American system is in bad shape. Health insurers make their profits by denying claims. Health care physicians are in the pocket of Big Pharma. And the cost of American health insurance? Through the roof. The number of people filing for bankruptcy on account of medical bills? Through the roof. The impact birthing costs has on those wishing to abstain from birth control and/or have a large family? Overwhelming. This is bad news all around.

    Is justice served when a system meant to glorify God through providing care to men and women created in his image makes their superfluous profits by denying coverage?

    If you wish to fund healthcare the same way that we fund police and fire, go for it. I fear that it will result in disproportionate services contingent upon the particular area, allowing the wealthiest to enjoy the greatest care over against those who need it most. Were I to choose between state and local, I would go with state, if for no other reasons than their ability to bring in the best and brightest as well as making the insurance pool much larger. The latter would allow for a more equitable system, based on citizenship of the state rather than local residency.

    You are quite correct to say that the same arguments for preventative policing can be used for health care. Preventative care is key to humane health care. Does this necessarily take the place of sensible self-reliance. Not by necessity. There may be those who abuse the system, but that already happens. Instead of going to the ER, get some sleep. Instead of asking for prescription meds, look for home remedies or over the counter products. Change your diet. These are educational matters best dealt with by the family, the school, and the church. Still, to deny this insurance net for those who wouldn’t abuse it on account of the mere possibility that it may be abused is, in my opinion, not very wise.

    The rich always find care. The rich are the ones cared for. They can afford the insurance, the pills, and the bills. The poor, at least in our system, are shafted, or at least given inferior care. Why? Well, because they are poor. A humane society that looks at people as created in the image of God rather than isolated consumers would see this as an absolute tragedy.

    I like your idea of States dealing with it over against the national government. I will be putting more thought into the matter. Good criticisms. Great ideas.


    December 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm

  9. Totus Tuus ad Jesum per Mariam

    Dear Paleo,

    As far as local level, I meant as local as possible. Certainly Rhode Island can join with Vermont and New Hampshire if it creates a better system and states like Texas or California can break themselves up into sections. Prudence is crucial in all of this, making sure that a proper balance between rich, middle-class, and poor are maintained. Oversight is required in this effort.

    If such fraud exists as you say it does, then action by the government should be taken against those entities. Health insurance companies that deny just claims should be fined greatly, and the money should be given to those who have been denied (at least twice what was owed should be given to them), and the rest to defer costs for those who can’t afford it. If an insurance company is a repeat offender the CEO’s account should be seized, (prudence should allow for money to be set aside for the support of his immediate family and dependents) and he should be thrown in jail, and if his actions lead to the death of anyone charge him with voluntary manslaughter. Extreme view? Possibly. But it will certainly make him think twice about denying claims.

    The government could also act in breaking all links between Big Pharma and doctors by revoking the license of anyone found to have taken money from them. If Big Pharma wants to help people, they can give their profits to help the state pay for coverage of those who can’t afford it, and help hospitals with free clinics. Other then that they should be left to reinvesting their profits in new technologies not bribing doctors. How does a system of competition work when bribery and monopolies are involved?

    As far as people filing bankruptcy, perhaps some of those people could be covered under state health care. Others might be able to afford their own insurance if the state, and here the federal government can assist, gives tax breaks for those who get their own insurance which may help defer the costs.

    I never even considered the fact that people might abstain or use the Pill in order to avoid the cost of having a baby, how terrible. Perhaps decreasing taxes for those who have children within marriage, and additional breaks for each child raised. As far as abortion, perhaps the state can agree to pay for the child’s birth if the parent will put the child up for adoption, here the Church and all Christians must step forward and open their homes to these children. If the state and the mother both know that good Christians of decent character are waiting to adopt children they might be much less likely to kill it.

    Again absolutely correct in your assessment of the state over the local area for this program would be ineffective in the slums and useless in the “gated communities”.

    Perhaps the government could do something to promote self-reliance and discourage unnecessary trips to the doctor. You are right to say, however, that the family, the school, and the church play the most important roles.

    I have been thinking about how this system would work and my conclusion has thus far been this; that when medical care is needed it is given immediately without any question of payment or insurance, but that care is immediately offered. After the treatment is underway friends or family members can speak with an administrator about payment or even wait until the surgery is finish or the treatment is over, (sort of like at a nice restaurant.) If the person appeals to the government for payment then the state does some quick research into last years tax form, asks for an account of this years income, et cetera, and if the person is found worthy of aid it is granted. If, however, the person if found to have had the money to get insurance by a comfortable margin but chose not to, then a strict but just punishment should be placed upon them. The state should force them to pay off the debt, plus ten percent for the cost of administration, over the next ten plus years (time varies, and even the amount of the payment to, for lets say the cost is 1 million dollars and they make 30,000 a year, certainly they can’t be expected to pay off the whole debt, plus ten percent, but only ten percent of the entire cost). The amount that they need to pay shouldn’t be greater then lets say 5% of there income each year, and payments should not be made until private insurance is payed for. If they retire or can’t afford, prudence will be used to determine if the debt should be absolved or the payments delayed by a year.

    Is the sentence strict? Yes, but it must be to discourage fraud and avoid a system that isn’t sustaining.

    Not everything needs to operate in such a way, but a just system that strongly discourages cheating, promotes self-reliance and insurance, and most importantly treats the person first and then, and only then, cares about the money.

    Only in a government that is just, with rulers that are prudent, and overseers, (we the people), who are involved can this system work. Indeed, “we get the government we deserve”, and if we are unjust, imprudent, short-sighted, and unsacrificial, our government will remain corrupt, wasteful, and useless. Sadly, as our government is corrupt (and therefore weak), this system will probably not work.

    Thank you for sharpening my position through debate and for a chance to share my positions.


    Apostle of Mary

    December 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm

  10. While we may have disagreements (all of which I believe to be more minor than may be thought at first glance), there is much to agree on.

    The system is broken.

    It is horrifically unjust when health care becomes a business that thrives not so much on preventative care and the healing of the sick but upon gross overmedication and what should be an unlawful alliance with Big Pharma.

    A health insurance system that profits off of denials and minimizing output is hardly worthy of the title health insurance.

    That those organizations and people involved in such unjust actions should be prosecuted, and that their penalty should reflect not only their proximity to the particular instance but also the gravity of the loss.

    Yes, it was a pleasure talking about this. I know what I don’t like. I know what end I wish for. But the means can be sticky. Once again, thank you.


    December 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

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