Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Visible Means of Support

I’ve been thinking a lot about health care lately, specifically why the Republitards and Who-Us-Worry?-Independents haven’t been able to form a cogent argument against the bill currently festering in Washington.

I think that’s because while everyone is arguing the particulars, no one is arguing the truth or fallacy of the basic idea bolstering this particular attempt at reform. And that basic idea is the assumption that health care is a right. You know, on par with life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and all that.

But is it?

Under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights as established by the founding framers of our government, a right is something guaranteed to an individual regardless of social status, gender, religion, economic position, and choice of footwear. Furthermore, your right to your life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, free speech, self defense, etc., are yours regardless of who is in power, whether communist, fascist, democratic, or dumb ass. Which means a right is not reducible, divisible, refutable, assailable, or dependent upon the good graces of any other individual, institution, or governmental body. Most importantly, rights are not granted at the expense of the life and liberty of another individual or group of individuals.

In other words, when it comes to rights, you can't rob Peter to pay Paul. That's called stealing.

So, if we take this particular assumption to be true – and we have to, because it’s the law of our land and if we are anything, we are a country of laws, regardless of how long ago they were written – how then does health care qualify as a right?

If our government were to try to guarantee each of us the right to health care or the right to cheap health care insurance (which has about as much to do with health care as my box of Band-Aids, but apparently our oh-so-wise-leaders think otherwise) they would have to do a whole lot of fancy footwork to force others to guarantee that right.

Step 1. Usurp the salary of your neighbor down the block in the form of new taxes; Step 2. Force doctors regardless of ability or knowledge to lower their rates; Step 3. Mandate your insurance company to cover everyone, even those with terminal illnesses and pre-existing conditions, thus not only causing a rise in rates for you, a healthy client, but also usurping the right of a private business to conduct business the way it sees fit. That's called extortion.

But, you say, health care is imperative to live. Well, I say, so is bread. And quite possibly chocolate cake. Are you going to demand that the government guarantee each household in this country a certain number of loaves of bread and cake each week and force bakers to do so at cut rate prices while working longer hours?

And I know I wouldn’t be able to live long in winter without heat; should I lobby my congressman to demand our government provide us with free heating oil, gas, and electric? Screw the companies who provide it – they should be forced to do so for the “common good.” There's that extortion thing again.

Is it just me, or is our government beginning to look more and more like the Mafia?

Anyway. I don't see how you can crack the barn door and not expect the horses to do nothing more than stick the points of their noses through. We either decide we are a country individuals free to make our own way, free to take responsibility for our lives and those of our families and loved ones, free to ask for help and free to give it, OR we decide we are a country of victims who in lieu of striving and creating, demand to have everything handed to us and enslave ourselves and our neighbors in order to do so.

I don’t see an in between. If you do, tell me. I’d love to know what it is.


Milk River Madman said...

Have linked this to my blog. Very well done.

Pam said...

And I know I wouldn’t be able to live long in winter without heat; should I lobby my congressman to demand our government provide us with free heating oil, gas, and electric? Screw the companies who provide it – they should be forced to do so for the “common good.” There's that extortion thing again.

Cheers cheers for this; and think of all that regulation on utility companies. An analogy I had not heard before, well done you. Am adopting it and spreading the word.

TROLL Y2K said...

Brilliant post. I might link it too. A few points:

1) Some Republican Office-Holders HAVE brought up your CORE point about health care being a "right".

2) Many many Republicans not holding office have argued your point consistently and well.

3) I don't think it's a bad move tacticly for Republican Office-Holders to argue the specifics instead of going your route.

4) The Traitor-Democrat Party of Filth's declaring health care to be a "right" wasn't the Barn Door moment. There have been others in the past. The most widely accepted being a "right" to a free education.

5) My favorite part of your wonderful essay was your reference to "extortion". Anyone examining the political reality of Chicago would have to say the Traitor Democrats operate that city via extortion. And that's the miasma from which Hussein-Obama, Rahm Emmanuel and many other key Administration figures oozed out from.

6) The Traitor-Democrat's proposed bill is NOT motivated by a desire to improve health care. It's a power-grap. Including the power to extort.

fishy said...

Health Care is not a RIGHT.
Health Care is not an ENTITLEMENT.
Health Care is a current pawn in the power game.

Those who know far more than I have said the issues are terribly complex but the real issues driving this "change" is about controlling the economic risks of big business in a worldwide competitive environment.
Seems American companies cannot compete "fairly" with companies in countries with government provided health care because of the monies needed for employment based health care options.

The other issue is simple percentages. America has reached the tipping point. The number of illegals, aged and those enrolled in the various entitlement programs
who make zero contributions to the costs of health care are now outspending the resources of those who do contribute by combination of insurance and private pay.

This is NOT about health care.
This is NOT about insurance.
This is NOT about rights.
This is NOT about entitlements.

This is about power and money.

But Moi, your argument is so beautifully written I think you should be entitled to stilettos for life. That way you will not have to pursue happiness, it will be owed to you. Sounds great doesn't it?

Big Shamu said...

So I'm assuming we'll be seeing a post urging the ending of Agricultural subsidies for the wheat that's used for the flour that's baked into bread?

Buzz Kill said...

Well said Moi. But I think I can make an argument for chocolate cake (and pie) under "the pursuit of happiness" part of the Constitution. That's what congress should be concentrating on.

Fishy makes a great point about entitlement. I'm tired of living as a socialist (especially now that tax season is nigh) and seeing my age for retirement extending further and further down the road because of all of the freeloaders I support. Really, I'm just tired.

Until these douchebags in Washington are forced to live like the rest of us (same taxes, same healthcare, same retirement plan) none of this will ever get done right. If the president had any balls at all, he would chain these guys to whatever law they pass - just like us.

chickory said...

make no mistake about what health care is: its the cornerstone of building a different america. a mass amnesty will come, along with cap and trade, and massive regulations on energy use and how private property can be used. there is ample proof for anyone who cares to google.

im all done with the political process. i have no faith in the impotent republicans to do anything and i doubt voting even matters except at the local level. John mccain is a broke down progressive in disguise and would have been a disaster as well.

what i plan to do is just divorce myself as best i can from the entire structure. theres a whole lot of me out there too...building community and underground commerce systems. this shakedown is the alinskyites wet dream but it is going to back fire i already see it. people are NOT going to toil away to have the fruits of their labor confiscated. they will fail to produce and/or go black market.

fishy said...

If the president had any equipment at all he would stand up and tell Congress the sleazy, irresponsible bill they are back room negotiating would be DOA to his desk. The president could put a stop to this insanity if he would stand up for true and valid reform and stand up for the wishes of the American populace he swore to serve! He has no equipment cause the creep whimpers this is " the way things get done in Washington" or "You have to start somewhere, get a bill together and we'll tweak as necessary" !!!! This is NOT leadership, is NOT presidential but is definitely deliberate. Indeed, he should go down in history as the loathesome whiner who brought sleazy Chicago politics to Washington at a whole new level.

Boxer said...

Amen, Moi.

As a business owner (who provides health care) I'm confused as to why I'm the one providing health care? When did it become MY job to not only employ BUT also insure employees?

Do I care if they smoke? I do now.
Do I care if they wear their seat belts? I do now. And, I don't want to.

The idea that I will be FORCED to provide anything beyond a safe work enviroment and a paycheck burns me despite the fact I'm already doing it. Why do I kill myself to employ only to be told how to run my business by government. AND, if I make too much money? They'll take that too.

Having just survived an IRS audit I'll tell you that I understand the Dude who put his plane into a building.

I'm with Chickory. I'm moving AWAY from what is considered "normal" politics and working towards going under the radar.

moi said...

Milk: Do I get a shot of Crown with that?

Pam: As Shamu points out further down the line, most of the things that we purchase as costs of living are heavily supported by the gubmint. None of which I support.

Troll: Well, I would understand arguing the points instead of the larger picture, if they could even argue the points well. But they're not doing that. What you hear, mostly, is that they oppose the bill mainly because it contains an abortion subsidy component.

Fishy: So, the next question I was going to ask myself regarding this so-called reform is, why? Why this reform, at this time, with this weird urgency, despite the utter mess of the bill? I think you just answered it for me. Thanks.

Shamu: Not necessary. Because what's happening with health care is the problem writ large with ALL the industries we subsidize, from agriculture to energy. I feel the same about ALL of it. You and I both know that these subsidies do nothing to ensure inexpensive and abundant food and power to We the People. Do you know that the vast majority of these mid-sized farms in our heartland throw away more food than ever goes to market? Regardless of the hundreds of thousands of poor who go hungry in this country? Again, I ask: WHY are we doing this? Especially since so many of us can get all the food we need from small local producers who live within only a few miles radius of us? It's madness . . .

Buzz: I've always wanted to be the girl with the most cake . . .

Chickory: Oh, how I would love to see all this backfire. With the emphasis on "fire." :o) You hit the nail on the head at the end of your comment about the confiscation of our rights. Bottom line: the ends do not justify the means and the means do not justify the end.

Boxer: It is not mandatory under law that you do this. However, this article gives a good overview of why it is now expected of you.
A combo of government incentives and lobbying by insurance companies, specifically Blue Cross Blue Shield. Prior to their rise, an insurance company would no more have thought it viable to insure a person's health than they would have thought it viable to insure a water buffalo against death by alligator.

moi said...

Fishy: True that. Not a leader. Instead, to paraphrase Rickie Lee Jones, "Weasel in a white boy's cool."

TROLL Y2K said...


I think you may be confuzzling a leftist media obsession with the position of the Republican Party.

To my knowledge, NO Republican, not even John RINO McCain, has said this would be a wonderful piece of legislation absent the abortion funding.

If any of them HAVE said that, give me their name so I can strangle them.

The only logical reason for a Republican to even RESPOND to the media's obsession on that is to puncture the myth of the "blue dog" democrat. Self-described "blue dogs" are the ones who are pretending their votes depend on that issue.

moi said...

Troll: Hmmm. You might be right. I will investigate further . . .

Marko said...

As Phil Gramm said "You can't give someone something for nothing unless you give someone nothing for something"


moi said...

Marko: Well, I've heard plenty of arguments that justify this approach, mainly that governments exist not simply to protect our civil rights, but also to DO things for us, cradle to grave. The least tyrannical-minded try to convince us that they simply want to help those who cannot help themselves and take over projects that private industry cannot handle. On the surface, this at least sounds reasonable. We all pay taxes into a pool of funds held by a centralized institution (government), which then redistributes it to accomplish those tasks that we as private individuals can't.

But let’s get real. None of us are stupid; we all know – from direct and indirect experience – that there are few things the government does well and those things are limited. The states can establish police forces and courts to protect us. And if we vote locally to implement certain other projects, well, that’s fine, too. That’s LOCAL government – real will of the people stuff. It is mandated by us not imposed upon us against our will. As for the feds? Create courts and a military to protect us from abuse both internally and externally. That’s IT.

But outside of protecting our civil rights and creating and upholding laws against fraud and abuse, what is government actually good FOR? I have yet to hear a logical argument upholding their necessity. I’ve been on this earth long enough to live through several administrations of both parties, and have friends and relatives who suffered directly under one form of tyrannical government or another. As far as I can see, it is the private sector that time and again rises to the task of creating peaceable, profitable, and charitable societies. Not governments.

And this health care bill is the culmination of everything that is wrong with government. It’s riddled with pork, it only has support via influence peddling and downright illegal bribery, and it’s unconstitutional.

WHY is any private citizen of any party who is in their right mind supporting this thing?

fishy said...

Working, tax paying, individuals do NOT support this insanity. Entitlement recipients and their administrators do.
Our country is in the throes of a heinous civil war and we, the good ones, are losing.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

This was exceptionally well written! As have been the comments. Unfortunately I think your preaching choir. If there's any hope stopping this legislative train wreck. This week is crucial. Making sure the members of Congress understand that they're going to be held accountable for how they vote is the only way to stop it.

This is where I have to ask a question: Has everyone here written to the President and their members of Congress voice an opinion? If not, why not?

Anyway think about it, y'all have a nice weekend.

moi said...

Karl: I've written my representatives - Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman – until I'm blue in the face. To no avail. I get pat answers in return. No attempt to engage me in a discussion. Just, we know what we're doing; it's for your own good; now go away.

Kymical Reactions said...

I picked a winner. Stop by when you can. :)

Pam said...

If you are getting pat answers back from contacting your congressmen, they are probably standard responses prepared in advance. Have you called the office and asked to speak to the chief of staff? You might be surprised that these guys are accessible. In theory. You have a right to ask for their reasoning for their vote on the issue.

xl said...

We already have a well-established example of a government-provided health care system: Veterans Affairs hospitals. Anyone care to have a loved one treated there?

chickory said...

karl: saxby chambliss and john linder send back form statements. i know because half the things they write do not address what i have written. but like i said, im finished with these exercises in futility. the political class no longer answers to us but to the corporations and the banking elite.

on another note...what do you think of the runaways movie first clip "cherry bomb?" dakota fanning in corset and garters? i am so old. gah!

Heff said...


moi said...

Pam: It's nearly impossible to get anyone on the line at Udall's and Bingaman's, but once I'm out from under this work tomorrow, I'll give it another go.

xl: Excellent point.

Chickory: I'll be in line for the Runaways movie. Looks like an excellent cast all the way around, although I'm not much of a fan of that pasty-faced vampire movie chick who's playing Joan Jett. I hope she's more animated in this one.

Heff: Only if you offer up your bar as campaign headquarters.

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

I figured that you had. I too understand the feeling that they aren't listening. My representatives are: Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen and Barbara Mikulski, my opinions have been falling on deaf ears since this fiasco started. I still keep trying.

I would happily second the motion made by Heff. Heck I'd volunteer be your bartender, er uhmm campaign manager.