Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Sane Obamacare Post From r/politics

r/politics is infamous for being a left-wing circlejerk. Most of its threads are from left-wing sites such as the Huffington Post, Media Matters, and Daily Kos with the comment sections little more than moonbat echo chambers with any dissenting comments downvoted into oblivion.

It’s for these and other reasons that I long considered ceasing my visits to Reddit—if not simply unsubscribing from r/politics. But today, I was tempted to visit the circlejerk one last time.

What I discovered was this gem of sanity, which surprisingly is one of the top threads with 726 upvotes. (It’s moments like this that make me gain just a gram of faith in humanity.)
To everyone finding it so crazy that some people oppose Obamacare, let me respond to your massive generalizations.

It isn't that conservatives want Americans go uninsured. The battling viewpoints are not: "let poor people get sick" vs "let's get everyone healthy". The viewpoint is: how much do we want our federal government involved in our lives. And conservatives stand on the side of less. Yes, in the party there is a disconnect between the religious right and this philosophy in terms of certain social policy, but this isn't every conservative. Lots of their concerns center around how this was hastily written and contains flaws. A lot of conservatives' opinions are based around the outstanding response from small business owners who fear the stress in the requirements of the law, many whom say will strangle their growth. And remember, small businesses employ almost 98% of employer firms, employ over half of the United States, have generated 65% of new jobs in the past 15 years [U.S. Small Business Association]. Republicans agree that the health care industry needs to change, but not at the expense of our already faltering economy.

To the Europeans/Canadians who are all amazed that we don't want "universal healthcare" (which Obamacare is not at all): America is a country of 313 million people, that is 3rd in the world. The next closest European country (I'm not counting Russia) is Germany with 80 million. America is 9.5 million square kilometers; the next closest European country is France with just over 500,000. Clearly there are differences, and let's quit with the ignorance of direct comparison, alright?

The supreme court decision effectively said this: the federal government doesn't have the power to force a citizen to purchase something, but they can tax them for not purchasing a specific good or product. You see where this becomes a slippery slope.

I work in the healthcare industry-I'm not a nurse or doctor or hospital administrator, but I work in a supporting business service field. [edit note:] I'm an intern for a business service company, still in college. It's not like I'm making the big bucks, if anything, I've just been immersed in the industry and been reading and researching a lot, so I'd say I'm familiar with what's going on. And the industry is screwed up and in need of change. But the conservatives want this change organically and from within the industry. And this has already been happening, the Health Care law was not something entirely new and unknown to everyone else. If you're curious, go read some things by Elliot Fisher of Dartmouth, a large proponent of Accountable Care Organizations, a significant trend in the industry.

I realize that the majority of r/politics may disagree, but some differing views are good to see. I'm just sick and tired of seeing gross generalizations and plain misstatements about those that oppose Obamacare. What is differing here are deep political philosophies, not some small issue that can be spun to make either side look like the bad guys. One side does not want to expand our federal government, they would look at the track record of public programs, industries, offices, red-tape, efficiency, fiscal policy, etc vs that of comparable private entities and prefer the latter.

For those that have made statements about hoping the Republican party will entirely "fade away" with their totally "outdated views". Conservatives want a smaller government, and as long as people are unhappy with what their government is doing, they will want less of it. This only makes sense. If I don't like vomit-flavored ice cream, I probably won't ask for two more scoops. Of course, the government could just tax me for not buying those new scoops now, couldn't they?

TL/DR: Not all "conservatives" hate the poor and equality as they are being categorized as. I oppose ACA because: I support smaller government. I don't think comparing other countries' systems works with the US bc our size and population makes us unique. The industry itself is already undergoing a trend of reform, and I believe this will be better than government mandated. The Supreme Court decision itself sets up a scary precedent.

EDIT: Because everyone is pointing this out. I mention that there is disconnect in the party today. As a young conservative, I'd say we have more consistent values of small government. This includes cutting military spending and size, doing something about the drug war which consequentially dramatically reduces prison spending, letting gays get married, etc because we want the government out of our lives. This is what I would say is TRUE conservatism. Wanting a small, reduced government and increased freedoms economically AND in social policy as well.

EDIT 2: While this hasn't been discussed that much in the news, I'd like to throw in one more conservative issue with the bill: pre-existing conditions. The blanket coverage for all pre-existing conditions in bad. There needs to be some line drawn over fault-free pre-existing conditions and pre-existing conditions of your own doing. If someone has type II (that's the adult onset, right?) diabetes because they live an unhealthy lifestyle then they should have to pay more for insurance. If someone smokes cigarettes and has emphysema as a pre-existing condition they should have to pay more for insurance. Now if someone gets lymphoma as a kid that should be considered a pre-existing condition and should absolutely be covered. If someone has MS or something like that. I just wanted to throw this out there. I don't think we should have to pay more for someone's negligent unhealthy choices, but I'm okay with paying more for out-of-one's control circumstances. I'm okay with the government mandating coverage of most pre-existing conditions, just not unavoidable ones.

EDIT 3: Thanks so far. I tried to not sound too sensational, just summarize my views (and other young conservatives' views) so there would be a wider understanding. Some of you replied less respectfully than I think my language warranted, but overall, even amidst a sea of disagreement, this has been treated fairly well. So thanks r/politics!

EDIT 4: Wow. This blew up. Thanks for all the opinions, messages, replies, and generally well thought out responses. At this point I can't read everything, and its exposure now also warrants the trolls so I'll do my best. I haven't gotten a shred of work done all day (altho I'm glad my proxy doesn't block reddit). And regardless of your opinions, keep the debate going, make sure and vote in November, and if you think you're smart enough and can make a difference, run for office one day. Maybe one day reddit will be abuzz with controversy over YOUR political action.

ANOTHER EDIT: since my note about working in the industry seems to be an issue, I've clarified that, and I'll do so here as well. I'm an intern for a business service company. Still in college. It's not like I'm making the big bucks, if anything, I've just been immersed in the industry and been reading and researching a lot, so I'd say I'm familiar.

SO MANY EDITS: Quick note on my Canada/Europe/size/population comment. I know Canada is as big geographically as the US. I'm just meaning that the US is its own animal. There is no other country that equates in terms of size AND population, which makes any direct comparisons difficult. Because governance is strongly affected by both geography and population.

AND AGAIN: Since the semantics of "conservative" seem to be such a big deal for everybody, if that bothers you, go ahead and read it as "one-who-does-not-support-ACA-or-the-democratic-party-and-tends-to-lean-towards-the-views-of-some-libertarians-but-without-being-entirely-libertarian-because-I-think-we-need-a-little-more-government-than-that-I-mean-don't-get-me-wrong-I-dig-Ron-Paul-but-prefer-Jefferson-so-basically-I-want-my-government-to-be-small"; conservative was just easier.

FINAL EDIT AND I'M OUT: It's too much for me. I can't take it. Any more summary of opinion can be found here: