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The avalanche of right wing protest about the Supreme Court ruling seems to focused on the "loss of our freedom." Doesn't the existence of Canada (or Germany, Great Britain, etc.) who have both universal health care and freedom, completely refute this argument?

My brother is a good man and a staunch free market conservative. I'm an unabashed liberal. We've been politely trying to find the common ground we share on the role of government.

We agreed quickly on defense, police, criminal justice, education (which surprised me), and infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc). We also agreed that our political system has become deeply corrupt, and a greatly simplified tax structure with almost no deductions or credits would help to eliminate the massive amount of rent-seeking that currently exists. He even agreed to a reasonably progressive set of tax brackets.

Universal health care, though, appears to be the line in the sand between us. In his last email to me, he went totally Galt. "Robin Hood was a thief." "Government creates two classes of citizens, free men and irresponsible mooches." And so on.

Here are the two key quotes:

1.  I think you're nuts if you think the government can provide health care in an efficient sustainable fashion.
2.  I can't think of a (health care) 'program' that would create more good than bad. I don't think its possible. This is why we end up apart.  
Every other country in the "free" world has a health care program that is more efficient and fair than ours, but he thinks I'm nuts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would be interested to hear a discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee

    between you and your brother of this study by the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Fair's fair. I don't vote in your church; don't go preaching in my government New ad 6/28: "Triage"

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:58:30 AM PDT

  •  I just don't get it. Do these people never (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee

    travel, read or take off their blinders.  Why do they think that having health care for themselves and their loved ones will take away their freedom?  Do they not realize that people will/are dying and laying ill in their home without proper care?  Others are losing everything they have worked for just to save a child or family member?

    This coverage will make them free them in so many ways.  Just shake my head in wonder.  They fought against all the other social net programs when implemented and now it is Hands Off My ___.

    •  They often don't travel much (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia, Buzzer, Swampfoot

      The Banana Republican base has two components.  The filthy rich "jet set" oppose Obamacare simply because it includes a new tax on unearned income, with no cap.  That's real money and can raise their net tax rate, typically around 15%, by around a fifth.  This is one of the great features of the plan, after Bush gave the rich such big cuts.  Of course they don't like to talk about this because the non-rich would not support them.  They know that the rest of the developed world has good tax-supported health care but they don't want to talk about it.

      The other half of the base is what might be called, though it's sometimes seen as pejorative in American, the peasantry.  These are the religious rural and working-class voters who don't do well with math and don't follow real news closely, though they may watch some Fox and listen to Rush.  They do not travel.  They can't afford to go overseas; vacation for them is more likely to be a camping trip in the family truck.  So they have been brought up like North Koreans who think that they are in the world's best country and everyone else hates them.  They are vulnerable to horror tales, true anecdotes or outright lies, about how awful "soclalized medicine" is, and how death panels would kill grandma, and how they'd be assigned a bad doctor by the government who would make them have an abortion, even if they're not pregnant or even male, just because OBAMA said so because he's doing the devil's work.

      It's all part of keeping the voters ignorant.

  •  You know the GOP kool aid is strong when... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Swampfoot

    ...people are so angry about SCOTUS's decision on ACA that they threaten to move to...Canada, of all places, country of complete universal health care!

    This confirms that the GOP and Fox have indeed managed, through repeated lies, fabrication and deception, to turn a portion of the population into totally uttly clueless people.

    This is absolutely SCARY...

  •  As a U.S. citizen in Canada... (6+ / 0-)

    ...who's lived with the Canadian single-payer system for the last 15 years or so, one thing I have learned is that this system actually makes people more free.

    People here can leave a shitty employer and start their own enterprise without regard to losing their healthcare. That alone makes Canada more free than the United States. There is more entrepreneurism here.

    For the level of income I earn (less than 30k) I actually pay less tax than I would in the U.S., and I don't have to buy health insurance (except for prescriptions and dental). Every encounter I have had with the system has been excellent.

    Just one example:

    Last year my 73 year old Canadian father-in-law had a pacemaker implanted after a series of arrhythmias caused him to pass out one morning. He got the pacemaker the very next day. Very glad he's going to be okay, and he's feeling much better than before. Of course it got me to thinking again of the claims I often heard (from bogus sources) during the U.S. healthcare debate.

    Note that his treatment was immediate - he got the necessary surgery the day after his incident. No months long delay, no ignoring his needs because he was 73, no calling and fighting with insurance companies to get "pre-approval." It was ordered on the specialist's authority alone, and it was done. There will be no retroactive denial of payment for the hospitalization costs, because these costs were paid by everyone's tax dollars.

    Now he's able to feel better without any worry at all about a massive $80,000 bill for the procedure, hospitalization and doctor's fees. And that's the way it should be.

    You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
    - Jessica Mitford

    by Swampfoot on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:36:40 AM PDT

    •  Of COURSE it makes people more free. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Swampfoot, Observerinvancouver

      This is so obvious that it is painful to have to make the observation to persuade others.

      Mind you the diarist's brother thinks so too: His interpretation is that it make people free to be "irresponsible mooches", whereas any thinking person understands that it makes people free to be creative small-scale risk-takers. That includes making people free to be artists -- musicians, actors, writers -- which helps to explain why so many Canadians are prominent in the American entertainment industry.

      But as I've tried to explain to people, private ownership of real estate restricts more liberty than it creates -- and all the more so as the concentration of that ownership increases.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:44:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I looked to see if my impression was correct (0+ / 0-)

        with regard to Canadian entrepreneurship versus the U.S. - turns out, according to a paper published by the SBA, it was. Canada ranks above the United States in entrepreneurship. Page 16 of this PDF.

        You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
        - Jessica Mitford

        by Swampfoot on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:59:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your point about the freedom to leave a job (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Swampfoot, chimene

      without worrying about health coverage is something that doesn't get enough attention.  And you're right about it making for more freedom.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:04:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The reason you end up apart is that he (0+ / 0-)

    delusionally believes that markets -- and the freer the better --are generally a good solution for providing economic necessities (food, education, shelter, transportation, healthcare, water, energy, waste disposal).

    This delusion is incompatible with reality.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:37:58 AM PDT

  •  but the US does have a "health care 'program'" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arealniceguy, chimene

    it's just that we have a chaotic patchwork system juryrigged to ensure an ever-increasing revenue stream for the insurance industry, rather than a uniform system designed to maximize availability of health care.

    And it does create a whole lot of "bad," a lot more bad than there needs to be.

    In most civilized countries, for-profit health insurance is seen as a form of extortion.

    In America, it's just good business, and any attempt to interfere with the God-given right of the 1% to make shitloads of money is seen as creeping communism (and we all know, as they told us in the '50s, that we're "better dead than Red.") Even if it means millions of people will sicken and possibly die.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:57:12 AM PDT

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