Thursday, July 16, 2009

Free Healthcare?

By Jenny Erikson

There are two types of “free.” Free as in freedom, and free as in beer.

Some things are essentially free. Rainbows, wildflowers, hugs and kisses from loved ones, and sometimes, a beer from a friend who says, “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got this one.”

As Americans, we are free citizens. It’s right there in the Declaration of Independence, a document that laid out the reasons why it was important for the colonies to break away from Britain’s “unwarrantable jurisdiction.” The Constitution lays out our freedoms; we are free to chose our own religion, to speak our minds, to assemble and petition, to own firearms, to raise our children as we see fit, to vote for a representative government, and we are even free to drink that free beer.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about socialized or “free” healthcare being introduced to the United States. Free healthcare? Where in the world are we going to find enough doctors (who, by the way, are trying to pay off an average of $140,000 in medical school debt each) willing to work for free in order to make sure that every American (or illegal immigrant pretending to be an American) has healthcare?

As a stay-at-home-mom, I work my tail bone off everyday. I’m the maid, the nanny, the chef, the chauffeur, the counselor, the life coach, the activities director, the secretary, the referee, and sometimes if my husband is lucky, I’m other things as well. I do it all for free, without being paid, because of my unbreakable and unending love for my family. But as much as I love my family, it is hard to do it all for free. Really hard. So I have to ask myself, “If it’s hard for me to work for free for my family, whom I love and cherish more than anything on the planet, how hard is it going to be for doctors to work for free for people they don’t even know?”

Free healthcare is an impossibility. There is no such thing as free beer. Your friend paid for it. Maybe he did it because it was his turn to buy, or maybe out of generosity or appreciation for your friendship. But he didn’t do it because the bartender said, “Sir, you make twice as much money as this man, so it is only ‘fair’ that you buy his beer for him.”

That’s what our government is trying to do regarding healthcare. It isn’t going to be free, because someone is going to have to pay for it (estimated cost is 1-1.5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.) Doctors and nurses need to be paid, along with the scientists that develop new drugs, the engineers that build medical equipment, the architects that design hospitals, and even the janitors that keep the toilets clean. Taxes are going to skyrocket. Everything will be taxed, from the CO2 we breath out (double tax if that breath included nicotine), to sodas, and of course, to incomes.

It isn’t going to be free either, with “legislation that would require all Americans to have health insurance, prohibit insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and place other restrictions on the industry.”

I’m a grown up. I like my freedom. I like choosing my doctor, and I like that doctors can refuse patients. I like being free to choose my car, my vocation, my religion, my food, and my home. I like that all Americans have those freedoms, even if they choose differently than me. It’s precisely that freedom that makes our nation great. An entrepreneur is free to make or improve something, investors are free to fund it, and consumers are free to purchase it.

Our government is sliding down the slippery slope of oppressive power. Obama wants to tell us what to eat, what to drive, how to run our companies, and what medical treatments we may receive. Oh sure, we’ll still have a “choice,” but the taxes will be so crippling that it will “necessarily bankrupt” us. As history has shown us over and over, everybody’s a loser in a tyrannical state. The Cubans aren’t driving 50 year old cars and dying of malnutrition because they like it that way.

Jennie is a conservative Republican chick with a strong opinion and a smart mouth who loves her husband and kids with the ferocity of twenty tigers fighting over a meatball.


Anonymous said...

There are a few problems with your article. The most glaring is its protestation of something that isn't even before congress - free healthcare. There is no single payer initiative currently pending, and it is troubling that you and other Republicans keep ranting about it. Seriously, if we are going to have a debate on this issue, could it be too much trouble for you folks to actually discuss real subject instead of mythical creatures that you feel an overriding desire to beat to a pulp?

Also, you are a stay at home mother. Good for you. Your husband goes to work and makes your family's income while you provide for the well being of your children. It is a hard job, but if the truth be told it provides limited income into the family "pool" of funds.

Let's play with other hypothetical creatures shall we? What if your husband develops cancer? What if he suddenly dies? Suddenly, you turn from a saintly pinnacle of virtue into an unskilled worker who now has to enter the job market to provide for her family. Shazam, you get that letter from your health care provideer/life insurance that this was either a pre-existing condition or some wording that alludes to it being all your fault and they don't have to pay. So, in our little hypothetical world, you went from a loving family to poverty fighting with nameless faceless insurance companies for your family's survival.

The difference between your fantasy and my story is that real people are truly suffering under the "great" system that we currently have. The President's own mother while suffering with cancer had to battle with her insurance company about what was covered and what was not.

You all think you are somehow immune from these wretched folks, but you are not. So why are you supporting them? What conservative Christian value says that we should turn a blind eye to our neighbors' suffering because we don't want to meddle in another's bottom line? Which Christian proverb explains how we, the richest country in the world, can allow young children to die for lack of adequate care? Which commandment says that we should support the greedy over the health and happiness of our most vulnerable?

While you get an A for reciting from memory the talking points of the Republican party, you get an F for failing to actually understand the problems facing this country. I also give you an F for failing to understand how your myopic opinions will affect your childrens' lives, and should they be so lucky, their children.

And finally, I just have to ask, why is it that the Republican party is more interested in maintaining the profit margins for corrupt monopolies than actually being caring, Christ-like human beings?

Rick Beagle

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