The Wrong Side of the Wrong Side of History

I’ve had this around for a while, and I’ve decided to comment on it.  It is a little column by a liberal idiot who goes by the name Nicholas Kristof.

It’s about socialized health care, of course.  However, I thought I should help Nicholas work through his blatant idiocy.

The Wrong Side of History

Published: November 18, 2009

Critics storm that health care reform is “a cruel hoax and a delusion.” Ads in 100 newspapers thunder that reform would mean “the beginning of socialized medicine.”

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page predicts that the legislation will lead to “deteriorating service.” Business groups warn that Washington bureaucrats will invade “the privacy of the examination room,” that we are on the road to rationed care and that patients will lose the “freedom to choose their own doctor.”

All dire — but also wrong. Those forecasts date not from this year, but from the battle over Medicare in the early 1960s. I pulled them from newspaper archives and other accounts.

At one point in Michigan’s history, some 85% of doctors took Medicaid patients.  Now, only about 50% do, and that number continues to drop.  Part of this is due to the fact that, well, they can’t make a living by taking Medicaid patients.  Furthermore, there are stipulations in Medicare that an enrolled patient cannot pay out of pocket for a doctor’s services, if that doctor does not take Medicare, or if Medicare does not cover that service.

I actually know people who know the numbers on the payout of private or semi-private insurance, in contrast to government-run insurance.  Private insurance pays out better than Medicare and Medicaid.  In one example provided by a Michigan doctor, he noted that a provider like Blue Cross Blue Shield  paid the best rate for something like a simple X-Ray, where as Medicare came in second.  Medicaid, however, paid the doctor far less than what it costs to actually do the X-Ray, thus forcing the doctor / facility to take it on the chin and lose money.

I guess this means that, inevitably, some Medicaid and Medicare patients can’t choose to use the doctors they initially had.  So, I guess that makes you wrong.

And now we have Congress and that inept little boy in the White House talking about “reforming” the entire system, and putting it under government control, using Medicare and Medicaid as justifications.  So, once more, they were right, and you are wrong.

Yet this year those same accusations are being recycled in an attempt to discredit the health reform proposals now before Congress. The heirs of those who opposed Medicare are conjuring the same bogymen — only this time they claim to be protecting Medicare.

Hummm…awfully funny you should say that.  It was the Democrats that used Newt Gingrich’s “die on the vine” quote concerning Medicare to hammer Republicans during one election cycle.  But nevertheless, it only shows how totally insidious socialized medicine has become.  Once the crack cocaine is given to the addict, the addict fears the loss of his crack cocaine, and thus: normally Americans become fixated in not losing their Medicare.

It just sucks that this time, the people taking away Medicare for seniors are now liberals.  Well, it sucks for liberals anyway.

As for this opponent of socialized medicine, I’m all for killing Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and all of the other social “safety net” programs that have been implemented, and are now financially dragging this country over a precipice.  Those “bogeymen” you snidely remark upon ended up being a team of crazed, out-of-control horses heading for the cliff, and taking the stagecoach with them.

So, frankly, if you think you’ve made points thus far, you’re sadly mistaken.

Indeed, these same arguments we hear today against health reform were used even earlier, to attack President Franklin Roosevelt’s call for Social Security. It was denounced as a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and add to Americans’ tax burden so as to kill jobs.

Odd you should say that when the nation is seeing 10%+ unemployment, and the constant caterwauling from the left is how jobs are being shipped overseas.

Do you not read, or are you just plain stupid?

Daniel Reed, a Republican representative from New York, predicted that with Social Security, Americans would come to feel “the lash of the dictator.” Senator Daniel Hastings, a Delaware Republican, declared that Social Security would “end the progress of a great country.”

You know, when former communists (China) lecture us about progress and market economics, most of us here on the Right see that as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse saddling up for a lengthy journey.  Obviously, liberals are too worried about their “reproductive rights” to notice that it heralds that the progressive nature of this country – that free men will prosper and grow – is starting a downward decline.

John Taber, a Republican representative from New York, went further and said of Social Security: “Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.”

In hindsight, it seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? Social Security passed, and the republic survived.

Given that 50% of my paycheck basically goes to the government, I’d argue with you that workers are not enslaved.  Free men have a choice in how they spend their hard earned wealth.

Try not paying your FICA, and see where exactly that gets you.

As far as the republic surviving, last time I checked, we passed through – and are passing through – one of the greatest financial calamities in recent memory.  Part of this was fueled by rampant lending.  Rampant lending has been fueled by not-so-rampant savings.  This is because people are taxed so much in this country, they generally don’t save money before buying stuff they want.  If you need pretty pictures to illustrate this for you, take a good look at the downward trend of household savings since the 1980s.  It doesn’t take a huge philosophical leap to figure out that because people can’t save, they end up having to borrow.

Similar, ferocious hyperbole was unleashed on the proposal for Medicare. President John Kennedy and later President Lyndon Johnson pushed for a government health program for the elderly, but conservatives bitterly denounced the proposal as socialism, as a plan for bureaucrats to make medical decisions, as a means to ration health care.

Once again, medical providers are dropping Medicaid in droves because the government doesn’t even pay them what it costs to do things like X-Rays.  AARP had to supply supplemental insurance to cover all of the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.  If the insurers don’t pay, the doctors won’t treat.  That is de facto rationing.  The best some can hope for is charity in these situations.

I mean, not to mention that in virtually E-V-E-R-Y socialized system in existence today, there are government boards that literally ration health care to cut costs.

I mean, what part of any of this don’t you quite get?

The American Medical Association was vehement, with Dr. Donovan Ward, the head of the A.M.A. in 1965, declaring that “a deterioration in the quality of care is inescapable.” The president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons went further and suggested that for doctors to cooperate with Medicare would be “complicity in evil.”

Given that Medicare and Medicaid are so far in the hole financially that they are being used as justifications to socialize the rest of the US health care system, I’d say that the president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons was pretty far-sighted.

That’s probably because he wasn’t an idiot leftie like you.  However, I digress.

I don’t know what you call constant deficit-spending for the last 40 years to cover health care for seniors, children, and the poor, but most of us horribly ignorant types know that spending what you ain’t got isn’t exactly a virtue.

The Wall Street Journal warned darkly in editorials in 1965 that Medicare amounted to “politicking with a nation’s health.” It quoted a British surgeon as saying that in Britain, government health care was “crumbling to utter ruin” and suggested that the United States might be heading in the same direction.

Forty-some years later, Britain’s health care system has crumbled to utter ruin (they were forced, in part, to open up a private insurance system because the public system sucked so bad), and the nation that participated in crushing the Nazis and defeating Imperial Japan can barely field the military it once had.  Not to mention the all but total collapse of England’s manufacturing sector.  The light of the British Empire has significantly dimmed since 1965.

Your point being?

“The basic concerns and arguments were the same” in 1935 against Social Security, in 1965 against Medicare, and today against universal coverage, said Nancy J. Altman, author of “The Battle for Social Security,” a history of the program. (The quotes against Social Security above were taken from that book.)

These days, the critics of Medicare have come around because it manifestly works. Life expectancy for people who have reached the age of 65 has risen significantly. America is no longer shamed by elderly Americans suffering for lack of medical care.

So, you call being bankrupt “working?”

How about all of those seniors we heard about during the Bush / Clinton, Bush / Gore, Bush / Kerry campaigns who were forced to choose between food and medication?  Or, who were reduced to eating dog food because their money all went to medical bills?  Or how about every liberal, and their limp-wristed brother, trotting out our remarkably low life expectancy, and low ranking of the US health care system every time they want to push their agenda for socialized medicine?

Maybe those proposed “death panels” are already at work?  Or maybe you guys lie so much that you can’t keep your story straight?  I dunno.

Yet although America’s elderly are now cared for, our children are not. A Johns Hopkins study found that hospitalized children who are uninsured are 60 percent more likely to die than those with insurance, presumably because they are less likely to get preventive care and to be taken to the doctor when sick. The study suggested that every year some 1,000 children may die as a consequence of lacking health insurance.

First, those “uninsured children” have parents that choose not to insure them.  Second, what in the hell do you think Medicaid is for?  Third, why in the hell did they pass SCHIP when it is obviously not doing its job?  And fourth: we can drop that 60% number significantly by sending those children and their parents south of the border…where they initially came from in the first place.

You praise socialize medicine on one hand, and use it as an excuse to further socialize the system because the current level of socialization is “not enough.”  Nice tactic.  Pardon me if I don’t pat you on the back for being a scumbag with no morals, and no intellectual integrity.  Usually when things collapse, people like me don’t think that the same mistake can be avoided by doing the same stupid thing you did the first time, except on a much grander scale.

Why is it broadly accepted that the elderly should have universal health care, while it’s immensely controversial to seek universal coverage for children? What’s the difference — except that health care for children is far cheaper?

Ever heard of “Preemies?”

Granted, there are problems in the House and Senate bills — in particular, they falter on cost-containment. In the same way, there were many specific flaws in the Social Security and Medicare legislation, but, in retrospect, it’s also clear that they were major advances for our nation.

Great.  Now trillions of dollars of national debt is considered “advancement.”  You really should work for the GAO.

Yeah, and I guess all those Pharmaceutical companies, those medical device manufacturers, and the private sector – which is the lion’s share of spending – had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with advancements in health care.  None what so ever.

It’s now broadly apparent that those who opposed Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965 were wrong in their fears and tried to obstruct a historical tide. This year, the fate of health care will come down to a handful of members of Congress, including Senators Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. If they flinch and health reform fails, they’ll be letting down their country at a crucial juncture. They’ll be on the wrong side of history.

Here’s a little lesson for you: the Soviet Union had all you praise and more.  The Soviet Union provided free health care for its citizens.  The Soviet Union took complete care of its retirees.  The Soviet Union ended up collapsing because the government bureaucracy became so inept and so corrupt that they could not even supply bread without creating food lines.

Cuba followed the same pattern.  Their doctors have to supply herbal supplements to the citizenry because antibiotics are almost unheard of (or reserved for paying customers like Europeans fleeing their home nations on health care holidays).  The have to ration things like toilet paper.

People used to the responsive health care of the US – mainly created by the private sector of this nation – were exposed to the waits, lines, and pathetic service provided to Europeans by their broken socialized health care systems, there would be riots.  The taxes they pay to support such systems consume vast amounts of their income.  In fact, Europeans in industrialized nations are given an allowance, not a paycheck.  These people spend so much on health care, they can only afford to field a military that could barely stop a radical mob of kindergartners, never mind another Hitler or Stalin.

Another little historical factoid: Medicare, when first implemented, was projected to cost 9 billion dollars by 1997.  In 1997, the system cost something like 300 billion in taxpayer dollars.  It is so rife with fraud and waste that it makes the Exxon Valdez look inconsequential.

And, the sad fact of the matter is that the very same people wanting to “restructure” the entire health care system in this country are also the same people telling us that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are either going bankrupt, or are already there.  And you want to let the same group of people who have failed miserably with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the like to architect an even more comprehensive system?  Seriously: are you high?

The only person here on the wrong side of history is you.  But then again, you obviously were educated in the same outcome-based educational system that gave us the (somewhat comical) phenomenon of “new math.”  So before you lecture the rest of us – you know, the group of “not high” Americans – about history, maybe you should crack a book or two on the subject beforehand.

Books are amazing things.  You should try reading one some time.

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