Fiscally conservative or irresponsible?

Visiting Rep. Heath Shuler's office, three telling statements were made by his assistant who met with us: 1) We're fiscal conservatives and we cannot see how to pay for universal health care. 2) Negotiating for lower drug prices would hurt the drug companies too much. 3) A government option is out of the question; it would bankrupt the health-insurance industry.

Notably missing in a 10-minute discussion was any concern for individual citizens. I mentioned that health-care coverage for all Americans could be paid for in its entirety by negotiating prices for drugs to the 40 percent level, being paid in Europe. This savings would amount to $200 billion a year.

It is fiscally irresponsible not to decrease the overall cost of health care in America. We are currently paying for the health insurance that companies provide for their employees via the price of goods we purchase from them everyday. Let's find a way to cover every American and in the least costly way for ourselves. Overall the economy will thrive with more dollars available to spend. Please contact Mr. Shuler, as he needs an education. Our votes do actually elect him.

— Ed Mills
Fairview

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11 thoughts on “Fiscally conservative or irresponsible?

  1. The laws of the United States hold that a legal entity (like a corporation or non-profit organization) shall be treated under the law as a person except when otherwise noted. This rule of construction is specified in 1 U.S.C. §1, which states:

    In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise— the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.

    According to the law, politicians are as justified in acting in the best interest of corporations as they are of individual citizens. Because our government considers them to be the same thing, essentially. And that’s one root of many other problems.

    And their money helped him get elected just as much as, if not more than, our votes.

  2. Chad Nesbitt

    Cudos for even getting in to speak to someone.

    Last time I was there no one wanted to speak to me or the 50 other people wanting to be seen.

  3. entopticon

    Next election, I will give money and support to any challenger for Shuler’s seat who supports universal healthcare, Republican or Democrat. There is nothing fiscally responsible about leaving millions of Americans without healthcare insurance. There is nothing fiscally responsible about a broken system that causes healthcare catastrophes to be far and away the largest cause of bankruptcy in the US. There is nothing fiscally responsible about the enormous and needless costs of lining the pharm and insurance industries pockets with huge profits on our dime. Profit in healthcare is pure waste.

    Healthcare decisions should not be based on profit. As long as they are, are medical system will be extremely broken. Profit has no more of a place in healthcare than it does in police or fire protection.

    It’s easy for people who think they are insured to rant about how everyone else can jut lump it, until some insurance agent whose job it is to deny payment flags their account because it is costing too much, and conveniently finds a way to drop them. After their bank accounts are drained, and they lose their house, and their parents’ house, and their kids’ future, they tend to start singing a different tune. And once they are uninsurable because they have a preexisting condition, it’s far too late.

    Plenty of countries manage universal healthcare just fine. And they are substantially more fiscally conservative than we are about it, because they spend a hell of a lot less money to do it. If they can do it, we can do it, and we might even be able to do it better.

    Universal healthcare is not a right-left issue. It is a matter of right and wrong, and it is wrong for sick people to go bankrupt trying to save themselves, it is wrong for medical decisions to be based on profit, and it is wrong for a nation as wealthy as ours not to have universal healthcare.

    By the way, Jesus didn’t charge for his healing services so that might give you a subtle hint of what the Christian thing to do is.

  4. sovereignstarr

    Entopticon:
    “There is nothing fiscally responsible about leaving millions of Americans without healthcare insurance.” Ok. But that doesn’t make it any more responsible to introduce a government-run healthcare system when our national debt is already at such high levels that it is nearly impossible to repay.

    “…lining the pharm and insurance industries pockets with huge profits on our dime.” The government caused this problem. Why does anyone believe that the government is going to fix it? In fact, the kind of healthcare reform that is being proposed in Congress will benefit no one more than the pharmaceutical industry.

    “Profit in healthcare is pure waste.” Really? So if I come up with the cure for AIDS, even though no one before me has been able to discover it, I should not profit from this great discovery that will save billions of lives? These profits would enable me to devote my brilliance to solving more medical catastrophes. Or let’s say I invent a device that saves doctors hundreds of work hours, that can be used in the average doctor’s office and will save consumers money. Should I not profit from it? If I can’t profit from it, then what is the motivation to invent it in the first place? Or let’s say I am an incredibly talented and innovative heart surgeon. I am pioneering techniques that will revolutionize heart surgery, and save many lives. Why should I even try if I am not going to profit? Even if I am concerned with saving lives, it simply is not worth me going to medical school, spending years learning and innovating, if there is no profit in it for me. We should be happy to reward those who introduce value into our lives, and the best way to do that is to allow them to attempt to make a profit on their product or service.

    “Plenty of countries manage universal healthcare just fine.” Really? Could you enlighten us as to exactly which countries those are? Like Canada, where you have to be on a waiting list at least six months to receive a simple procedure such as a gall bladder removal? Where the most talented doctors continually move to the U.S. because they are not appreciated enough in their own country to be compensated according to their value to society? Where millions of patients cross the southern border each year to receive healthcare services that simply are not available in Canada? Or how about the UK, where vitamins and herbal supplements are classified by the government as prescription drugs, making it difficult and cost-prohibitive for people to maintain their own health?

    “By the way, Jesus didn’t charge for his healing services so that might give you a subtle hint of what the Christian thing to do is.”
    Well, that’s a little different. Jesus did not have to pay medical school tuition or malpractice insurance. He didn’t have to buy medical equipment or pay the salaries of nurses and assistants. He didn’t have to maintain an office for his healthcare services. When you are working with finite resources, nothing can be free. I wonder if Jesus would have agreed with stealing money from Peter to pay for Paul’s healthcare?

  5. entopticon

    sovereignstarr, every Canadian that I know wouldn’t dream of trading their healthcare for ours. Last year one of my Canadian friends had a medical procedure that would have cost $110K here, which would have financially devastated his family, but of course, it was free, and he had the operation immediately. He did not wait. In fact, every Canadian I know has never had to wait for a medical procedure.

    A few months ago, another friend of mine, who had been living in the US for the last 30 years, had to move back to Canada after going bankrupt from medical costs here. Now she is finally getting the treatments that she needs, at no cost, and she has never had to wait an more than she would here.

    More than half of all the bankruptcies in the US are from healthcare costs. And more than 80% of those people thought they were insured. Our current system is completely nuts.

    My British friends have some mixed feelings about their healthcare system, but they would not dream of exchanging it for ours. They are literally horrified by our system and perplexed that any wealthy nation would be barbaric enough not to have a single payer system.

    There are 36 countries ranked above us in healthcare, and most of them are single payer systems. There is no magic involved. If they can do it, so can we. No one should have to lose their life savings over a health emergency, and no one should have to die because they aren’t insured.

    Yes, profit is waste in our healthcare system. We waste insane amounts of money on sub-par healthcare because on top of the price of healthcare, we needlessly pay a fortune in profits. Again, many countries spend far less per person for far superior healthcare.

    And as someone in the second to worst health category for insurance ratings, if I ever lost my insurance, I would never, ever be able to get insurance again unless there was a public option. And of course, my insurance company could find a loophole and drop me at any time if they wanted. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    And seriously, if you really think Jesus would have been against universal healthcare for all people, you haven’t read the bible very carefully.

  6. dhalgren999

    solverenstar, when he said “Profit in health care is pure waste.” he was speaking of the insurance companies. (as I suspect you know) Your long winded defence of capitalism was not needed.

  7. Piffy!

    [b]sovereignstarr, every Canadian that I know wouldn’t dream of trading their healthcare for ours. Last year one of my Canadian friends had a medical procedure that would have cost $110K here, which would have financially devastated his family, but of course, it was free, and he had the operation immediately. He did not wait. In fact, every Canadian I know has never had to wait for a medical procedure.[/b]

    I know, right? Ever notice how those news ‘reporters’ never actually bother to go to Canada to interview this large percentage of Canadians giving birth in hallways and dying of the common cold while they wait for treatment?

    It’s all distraction, not “debate”.

  8. JWTJr

    Americans have elected to have new cars they can’t afford, houses they can’t afford, Ipods, unlimited texting, but complain about health care costs. We are in big trouble.

  9. Bert

    Where were the Carolina Stompers when G.W. Bush was running up the largest national debt in US history? Why did the Republican Party launch two costly foreign occupations and pass massive tax cuts without any means of paying for them other than borrowing money from China? I believe that is the very definition of fiscal irresponsibility. I don’t think we liberals should be taking lectures on fiscal responsibility from these people until they get their own house in order.

  10. JWTJr

    The Stompers should have been livid. W was not a fiscal conservative. Not even close.

  11. Eli Cohen

    Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
    Napoleon, 08/15/1769 – 05/05/1821

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