Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Socialized Medicine

Most of what I remember from the 80’s is limited to cartoons (Transformers, Ninja Turtles, He-Man [totally random, but I wonder if he found his She-Woman?], and my favorite: GI Joes) and playground experiences. This is why I tend to think of myself more as a child of the 90’s on into the 00’s. Like most kids, politics was off in the distant future while I sorted out more important issues to me at the time. For me, it was working out kinks in my theology until about 2004. This was the year politics meant something to me. I began reading the news, listening to talk radio, and thinking hard about the prominent political discussions of the day. I registered as a Republican and cast an informed vote in the Presidential election.

From my own experience, I’ve discovered that once one becomes informed about the world it is difficult to walk back into ignorance because there is so much that needs fixing. You learn that government is a necessary evil that God establishes to constrain the wicked desires of man’s heart, and to maintain civility in society.

I’d have serious doubts if the reader didn’t know ahead of time most of my political conclusions, but how is it I ended up reaching these conclusions? Certainly the most important influences were my parents, my best friend, and the folks at the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. Aware of my own presuppositions and traditions, I knew that the truthfulness of my beliefs needs to be consistent, which is why I spent a great deal of time and energy thinking about politics. Staying informed of the political landscape has enabled me to engage in a host of ideas: the role of government, morality in government and society, how a Christian is supposed to function within a governmental framework, a Christian’s role within democracy, and so on and so forth.

2004 until today have been an interesting six or seven years, as you’re probably aware. I have experienced political ups and downs with each victory and loss. The most important issue, however, happened this past Sunday when the House passed a historic bill that will forever change the direction of this nation. Many have said this already, but it is worth repeating: the America we knew is coming to an end. Government insurance that will cover 30+ million Americans will do that to a nation.

Are the Republicans being a bit too extreme in their reaction to this healthcare reform bill? No, I don’t believe so. Let me explain … 30+ million people insured by the government will make them the largest health insurance company in the country. No other insurance company in their right mind will try to compete with the kind of rates the government will control. This means these insurance companies will be forced to expand to other kinds of insurance – home, auto, business, life – ooor simply go out of business. This is inevitable. Next, we’ll see the government be the sole insurance provider for health care. The Speaker of the House and our President claim that this healthcare reform bill will actually decrease the cost of healthcare and lower the national deficit! How can this be in light of the fact that the government will now be paying with our tax dollars for these 30+ million insureds. This is insanity … pure insanity to say the deficit will decrease when our spending increases.

Why are Republicans so worked up over this? Because the Socialization of healthcare increases government control of our lives and reduces the freedom we have. Rather than choosing whether we want healthcare or not, the government will decide for us. Like the public school system, it seems a logical and practical step that the government will decide what doctors and hospitals you can go to. They may even decide which cases are too costly to pay for – they will have millions upon millions to pay for, you see.

It is a simple matter of freedom versus Socialism. Don’t be fooled for a moment that the issue is really about covering millions of people who cannot afford healthcare. The issue is about our freedoms as individuals. I don’t want to pay for someone else’s healthcare. I don’t want the government to take away more of my money. My goodness, how much more can they take from us? Isn’t 35-40% enough?!

How do I respond to the accusation that Republicans don’t want these 30+ million people to have access to health insurance? Why don’t we pass meaningful healthcare reform that allows individuals to keep health insurance in-between jobs, and with pre-existing conditions. Yes, having a pre-condition will mean your insurance rate will be higher than someone without any pre-conditions. But again, this assumes personal responsibility over against government mandated insurance like Social Security. Really, with the right kind of reform, Americans are fully capable of providing for their own health insurance, just as they are capable of planning for their own retirement.

Ronald Reagan made a point that I must reiterate to you. He said that Americans will never vote under the banner of “Socialism” but they will under the banner of “Liberalism,” which claims to defend the middle-class by increasing the role of the state. A fair warning indeed.

Thanks for reading,

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