Friday, March 26, 2010

To: emawkc & Bull E. Vard

A hairball from a Maine Coon cat (about 4 in/10 cm long).
Photo by Derek Jensen (Tysto), 2005-December-22

In response to yesterday's post, the indomitable emawkc and unflappable Bull E. Vard responded with some excellent arguments.

"The cost part of the equation has been ignored"

Because everyone knows it and no one wants to talk about it. A good way for a politician to become marginalized during this debate would have been to complain about how Doctors and Hospitals charge too damn much money.

It's a Hairball.

But it was in the subtext when Obama used the phrase, "bending the cost curve" and when Republicans suddenly became champions of Medicare and wrung their hands about draconian reductions in physician reimbursements. And my central argument was that people like Mr. Freedom Lover drive costs up when they consume vast amounts of trauma care services and never pay for them.

Bull E. Vard:
"Good work, you've successfully made an argument for the health police."

A bit of a stretch, I think. Mr. Freedom Lover indicts people who support HCR as just a bunch of freeloaders, while channeling some Randian Hero fantasy and pounding his chest about being no teat sucker he,

"Anybody who knows me and my convictions knows I practice what I preach."

So I held his hypocrisy up to the light, then dipped it in some gruesome detail for dramatic effect.

I understand our political landscape and the state of our society doesn't preclude the potential for Health Police. But barring some catastrophic collapse of Western Civilization, we won't have a society where people like Mr. Freedom Lover are denied emergency medical treatment and those people do drive up costs and I don't have to explain to you the economics of insurance and the diffusion of risk and the fact that a majority of our fellow citizens don't want to live in a society where children with treatable leukemia are allowed to live or die based on the size of their parent's bank account.

It's a Hairball.

The approach taken with the HCR legislation is based on a not unreasonable calculus, and is the kind of compromise we get in a representative democracy largely co-opted by powerful economic interests who now have full citizenship after Citizens United v.

No comments: