From the Blogposts » inbox

Fatboy’s Take on the Healthcare Reform Bill

Please, Mr. President, Don’t Kill Me

I had no intention of doing anything remotely political on this site, but I’ve just been overwhelmed by the number of tweets, Facebook statuses, and blog posts that I’ve seen from the cystic fibrosis community in favor of the bill that passed last week. Overwhelmed to the point of needing to speak out.

Disclosures first

I took the Nolan Chart survey to find out which political sector I fall into based purely on my views of what government should be. I would suggest taking the survey, too, because it may help you think about things consciously that you just regurgitate what you’ve known from your house growing up.

Libertarian: supports the smallest possible government, supports individual liberty in all ways, prefers to only defend our borders and not interfere in other countries’ affairs

I scored as a libertarian, near the conservative line. I’m not hard line libertarian, though, because I believe in a strong military backed by government money and the Interstate System. Until we can get everyone in private schools funded by some sort of consortium of parents, I suppose I have to agree with public education for now, too. I will use their “working definition” of libertarianism for now.

I do not believe the government knows how to run anything right, or at least better than a private company. Examples: USPS vs. FedEx, Medicare/Medicaid vs. Aetna, Social Security vs. mutual fund 401(k)s invested in properly. Money is wasted left and right, like for studies to see if people have slower reflexes when drunk or if students get lower grades in college if they don’t attend classes. Special interests rule the day, and I’ll be shackled and sent to Azkhaban before I become one of those suit’s special interests.

I earn my money. I’ve earned my degree. I pay an exorbitant amount of self-employed taxes (over $6,000). I pay thousands of dollars ($440/mo in expenses and $485/mo in premiums) for my health care alone, but I’m in charge and no one tells me “no, that isn’t covered.” I’ve been blessed by the Creator with trillions of neurons that I choose to fire of in a dazzling array of faith, love, motivation, determination, grit, and an iron will to survive, thrive, and spur others on to the same greatness that I have achieved. Granted, I’m not a household name or anything to brag about, but I’m proud of every achievement notched in my belt that the government never had a hand in.

The CF community

I see CFers running around saying that they can’t get coverage or they will be denied any useful coverage because of their pre-existing condition, but in most states, if you work for a company with more than 50 (maybe even just 15) employees, insurance companies cannot enact a pre-existing condition clause. I’ve never not been covered as a result. Now that I own my own company, I paid COBRA for a year and used the HIPAA guarantee and prior-coverage certificate to wave the one year delay on pre-existing conditions again.

I do realize that some states have REALLY sucky state-run health care and even some rampant private insurance companies who are protected by certain state laws, however this does not give the federal government the right to force an entire nation to pay for those few individuals and to oversee a few states run amok. California is bankrupt, for crying out loud! Does anyone expect them to have decent health care? Do you really think that letting the federal government run it will make it any better? Congress couldn’t run a lemonade stand and make a profit if they didn’t take the lemons from a grower and get the sugar as a tarif on imports.

State rights vs. progressive socialism

Working definition of socialism: taking possessions or earnings from a group of individuals (the working middle and upper class) and giving it to a group of individuals who don’t, can’t, or don’t want to work or choose to work one lame job and live beyond their means, creating a situation of poverty and being willing and expectant of Goverment aid and rescue.

I used to make $12,000/yr (2002) and never took a dime of state or federal aid. I paid for my own insurance and had a roommate to defray the cost of living. People on welfare should not have cable, cell phones, or car leases, but they do and expect to live like the Jones’.

I will help the poor on my own free will, but don’t force my hand to help undeserving leaches by taxing me to fund entitlement programs. I choose to teach people to fish rather than give them fish and certainly don’t take fish from someone with a stockpile of fish and deprive them of the fruits of their labor.

My reaction to the health care bill

I’ll start with the positive: we do need reform. “Shoving this through” against the majority will of the people according to poll after poll (Rasmussen, ABC, etc.) was procedurally wrong because, well, it would be better to JUST have included these things that are important, not to mention tort reform. Americans weren’t against reform. They weren’t against helping sick people. They were against a complete takeover of a system that involves more money than the rest of the G8’s entire GDP. Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security are already bankrupt.

Answer me this: how are we supposed to add 35 million people to Medicare without increasing waiting times, scaring off doctors who don’t want to mess with it any more, and dealing with the likelihood of rationing procedures, if not medicine? Who is it in the government’s best interest to “cut out” of the system when they run out of money (HA!, they print more, right?) to care for everyone? Diabetics, CFers, MS patients, CP patients, cancer patients, and transplant list people are going to be the biggest drain on the system. There might actually be money in the system if they were somehow to be eliminated from a need for care… called death. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened in history. Check out Germany pre-WWII. They were called “mercy killings” for those whose lives were deemed to be invaluable and more humane to end. This isn’t fear-mongering. This isn’t rhetoric. This is history, folks.

I don’t think “tearing the house down to build a new room” for us high-cost patients was a good idea… just build a new room. I was looking around at programs the government estimated costs for. I didn’t find a single instance where they underestimated, but found plenty where the cost was between 10x more and infinitely more because of unforeseen domino effects of their bills. Here’s some foreshadowing: many doctors will leave practice. Lines for care will increase because 1) care will be mandatory and 2) doctors who remain will be overwhelmed.

The bottom line

The key is that the government is not your savior. We live in a land of opportunity and options. If where you work or live now doesn’t provide what you need, then move, get another job, and do whatever it takes to get onto insurance that works for you. I’ve been at 28-38% FEV1 for years and have worked and gone to school 40-60 hours per week on those lungs. Don’t tell me that you’re too sick to work. Don’t tell my you can’t get a job with benefits. That is what a loser tells themselves.

Don’t be a loser, be a winner.

Be a fighter.

Comments

  1. philwebb says:

    I agree. Reform yes, take over HELL no. Things haven't run good enough since Regan, from there its been down hill. Escpecially this Admin, no friggen way will Nancy P tell me where to go, I tell her where to go! However, reform will never happen in this country, not in our life time. People are too stupid in DC and make decisions based on what's good for them today, not what's good for the other in the future. I heard this morning that the wording of Pre-Existing conditions are even unclear who will get coverage. This bill is a joke. I've been on SSA Disability for 2 years now. I hated like hell to go on it, but at the time I had no choice. I was on Medicaid for 6 months, which was great. Then they cut me off cause I bring home too much money…ON S.S. Disability, WHAT! does that make sense, no one I talked to, Senator, Congress or whoever, can tell me that makes sense. How can a man take care of his family, pay for his house and other bills, plus spend $850 a mnth on basic healthcare ins. I have till Sept '10 to apply for Medicare, which I hear is a joke now, but will get worse with this new bill.
    Can ya tell I'm a little pissed! Any way, we can scream all we want, but unless someone with billions of dollars goes to DC and lobbies for CF, we are screwed and we have to fend for ourselves.
    Growing up outside of Boston I had one of the Best CF Doctor's (and still is) Dr. Aubrey Milunski. I was very fortunate to see him for 18 years and he had all the latest info and know how. I am 40 now because he was able to see me, even when my parents split and couldn't pay. I've done very well with my CF and like I said, I have to look out for #1, cause those goons up on the hill wont kill me with they coverage.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment. My defense: out-earn any idiocy they can come up with up there. Our biggest obstacle will be if they ration care like they do in MA now. I wonder what the polls for MA were looking like… probably in favor to make us all suffer as they are. 😉

    We spend about $1000/mo until I hit my out of pocket in 3-4 months, then it goes back down to about $500/mo.

    Of course, if I earn as much as I'm capable doing what I do, then I won't have enough to take care of things because they'll tax me when I hit the $225k range when I hit my stride.

    Throw out the whole lot and start over from the ground up if we're going to be building anything from the ground up.

  3. philwebb says:

    I'm from Boston. I got out when the getting out was good! I lived in Maryland for 14 years. I got cause the smog was setting in and the air quiality has dropped dramatically in recent years. I'm in SC and this winter sucks! My next move to FLA. I lived in Punta Gorde for a year with my dad, back as a teen. My mom lives in Naples, my cousin lives in Jacksonville. So, if I can keep changing to better my health, I will, case I know the big wigs wont!
    I agree and was going to say that, get rid of them all, except maybe a hand full. The rest are junk bonds!
    feel free to email me any time.

  4. I'm a bit of a fan of one of our senators here in FL: @George_LeMieux – he's just a normal, honorable guy trying to do the right thing from everything I've researched, read, and seen of his sessions.

  5. Tyronius Maximus says:

    I can't imagine what it would be like to live with CF. I can't imagine what it would be like to live without healthcare. I am rather uneducated on this subject, to be frank. I see both sides of the equation, but I think the number one problem I have with HCR is the “how do we pay for it” part. I'm generally against debt and it feels as though we're mortgaging our future to make sure Obama gets a promise he made accomplished. Democrats paid a high price to get this done and will get a massive backlash in the next round of elections. I just hope the outrage lasts long enough to see Mr. Obama outed as well. I'm afraid it won't.

  6. Probably won't out him this time around, but his reputation in the history books will look like a steaming pile, methinks.

  7. Great post. You are truly an inspiration to the CF community. But the one problem with some CFer's is that that have a lousy support system as in family and friends (Personally I don't have this problem) that don't help them out and support them with there treatments. Also every state has different insurance laws, some are great and some are terrible. Some of these cause CFer's to become lazy, as to the extent they cant make but so much money to get state support because the insurance companies discriminate. I had a job that offered health insurance but being from a rural area the pay scale was low and if I was to get this health insurance it would take nearly my whole paycheck to cover it. I know what you are thinking why not go out to a bigger city and try to get a job there? Been there done that, everywhere i went said you need experience/or they want to pay less than I could make in the small town that I live in, so that theory is blown. So the issue is not so cut and dry, it is very complicated. I do not agree 100% with this bill, but health care needed an overhaul and I never saw the conservative leadership do anything about it, but the same leadership said there was a problem with it. So I ask you if there is a problem why not try to find a solution? This health care Law is not perfect in anyway, but before it takes full effect in 2014, there will be a lot of changes made. And for people to blame the democrats need to look at there own party who has don't nothing to help the American health care situation at all (this is the party that voted for tax cuts for the top 2% of Americans, a medicare part d prescription drug plan that was never paid for, but they voted against medicaid, medicare, and social security), this party is ran by corporations not to say the democratic party is not as well they just hide it better. Also technically its not a government takeover, it actually health insurance industry regulations. I was up on my soapbox for a minute and got off subject for a bit just needed to vent some of my thoughts.

  8. Thanks for taking the time to chime in, Kevin. I'm humbled by your comment.

    I can't really complain about your soapbox. I mean, you avoided sweeping
    statements like “Obama is the best thing since sliced bread” and the likes.
    This whole process over the last year has made me realize that I'm way more
    libertarian than conservative. I'm pretty ticked that I have to choose
    between global/progressive Dems and spineless/overspending Reps in every
    election coming in November.

    Personally, I think it's going to get repealed or overturned in the states
    that are suing for state rights, since the Constitution is very, very, very
    clear about state rights. Time shall tell.

    I want to vote for someone like me! Common sense. Morals. Untouchable by
    people “I owe for getting me to where I am.”

  9. I am more a center left kind of person when it comes to politics. On the Nolan Chart I am considered a centrist libertarian. In reality I think what Ron Paul talks about is true, but there is no way he could get elected, because the republican base will not support him and if he ran on the libertarian ballet he would not get enough support. I also like Jessie Ventura, I know what your saying he is crazy and all. I have watch him do interviews on both CNN and Fox news and he bashes both parties. He had brought up valid points of government cover-ups in the past few decades. And he is an independent with military experience, which I think should be a requirement. I glad we can have differences in opinion with out getting rude like this lady on facebook, who I was having a discussion with is a die hard republican blaming everything on democrats especially Bill Clinton. She was calling me names and kept repeating republican talking points. Over the last couple of weeks I have learned that people will believe anything this goes for both sides of the political fence. I just wished more people were like you and have there own opinions and stop listening to TV for there opinions.