The FourGoneFool wrote: This was childish and uncalled for. You can disagree with me all you want, but let's keep it civil. I won't demand an apology, but I think you owe me one. If I ever resort to name calling, you can remind me of this and be assured I will apologize.Oh calm down! No one has called anyone any names except when you called me 'childish and un-civil' just now. Perhaps you are confusing me with another poster. In keeping with your promise, your apology is accepted in advance. Your motives are not in question here, it is your conclusions and the facts you use to support them that are being challenged.Sorry, but you may have a long wait for that apology you say you expect.. . .I even proposed an alternative solution which you did not address. You could have chosen to pick apart my idea, but instead, you chose to attack me. Again, none has attacked you yet. It is your conclusions about the proper role of government (federal, state and local) that is being disagreed with. The alternative solutions you proposed in this (and other posts) weren't picked apart because they seem to have merit. They may also be used to fix what is broken about the system.This is a common tactic of big government advocates, so I have fortunately developed a fairly thick skin.Ouch! I'm certainly glad this wasn't name calling or a personal attack. This espcially hurts after spending so much of my working career trying to privatize government functions, but that's another story and you don't know me very well, yet. Actually we have the government as "our basic medical safety net" and I have no problem with that. Medicaid serves its purpose just like SSI. I will argue vigorously that medicaid, medicare, big city hospital emergency rooms, county public health clinics and the few remaining charitable hospitals don't provide a medical safety net for our society and certainly not for it's children.I don't want to live in a nanny state and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live in one even if I drop to the bottom strata of the economic scale. The fire-aim-ready approach of our federal government is highly unlikely to be fair, just, cost-effective or comprehensive. The profit motive in our health care system drives the innovation that makes our system routinely produce technological miracles. Without the profit motive, we wouldn't have such things as balloon angioplasty, laser eye surgery or any of the non-invasive procedures we now benefit from.On this we most certainly disagree. Medical research has not ground to a halt in countries with even the most socialized of medical systems. The list of medical research benefits coming out of Europe is pretty impressive. Just check out some of the European pharmicutical web pages. I think even the Russians were the first to invent corrective eye surgery.. . . What we have now is a capitalist economy that would go into recession if the burden of government became too great. Then the multitude of unskilled laborers that currently gets health care benefits from their capitalist pigdog employers would be laid off and Uncle Sam's coffers would soon be empty. We would be in really deep kimshi if that happened.Sounds good, but you have neglected to explain why Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and other countries with a much bigger 'burden of government' are not wallowing in a prolonged and continuous recession. Canada, with provincial medical coverage, has wallowed for the last couple of years because of the huge drop in comodity prices that small country is dependent upon. Just for fun, I looked at my last year's tax returns. I paid $6300 in federal tax and $2500 in state tax. In the meantime, my employer and I paid $6500 in medical insurance premiums, co-pays and the like. (This year it rises another 15% for the same coverage--about six times the general rate of inflation.) I'd still be ahead financially if my overall income taxes went up 70% and my healthcare costs were paid for. The statistics show that the vast majority of uninsured are young single healthy males who are working and going to school so they can get higher paying jobs. For the most part, these are the people who least need medical insurance (except for those who ride donorcycles [sic]).And, of course, these would be the people that it would cost the least to add to the system. The high infant mortality has been mainly attributed to poor dietary habits among unwed teenage mothers who are able to avail themselves of pre-natal care through medicaid but fail to do so despite the many community outreach programs that seek to educate them. This is not a problem that a national health care system can solve. Legions of unwed mothers not eating well and stubbornly refusing readily available pre-natal care are knocking holes in our under-five mortality rates! I can see why you were worried about sounding politically incorrect in your first post. Sounds like a good 10-minute topic for CSPAN, though. Pardon my skepticism, but I would love to see someone actually prove this or even provide a plausible reason as to why it doesn't happen in other industrialized countries whose unwed status matches or exceeds our own. [Don't forget to add me to that list!] If I added you to any list at all, it would be to the list of people who should be sentenced to watch CSPAN 1 & 2 for a whole session so they would see how our federal government works. Call it tough love if you will, but I think it might change your mind about relying on Big Brother for anything as fraught with opportunity as a national health care policy.That would be painful, indeed! I cannot stand cable news' teasers, sound-bite reporting, and 'Let's put out what gets them excited' format. Thoughtful pro and con editorials is what appeals to me--the truth usually bubbles to the top pretty quickly. You can find that kind of reporting if you look for it. Thanks for keeping me on the list though--I kinda consider it a 'badge of honor' as you called it. And BTW, my name is 4goneFool because when I joined TMF, it appeared that I had four more years until I could RE. I actually think that will now happen much sooner.And I certainly hope you make it--it feels nicer the closer you get.-- John
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