Friday, September 25, 2009


Since I know that all of you, like me, have friends on the "bash Obamacare" side of this issue, I have come up with what I feel is a lock-down, unassailable argument for incorporating a public option into our national health care reform. Those who claim "socialism" may be able to say things like, "I would be willing to give up Social Security or Medicare" because they are govt. run, but let's see them talk their way out of this one.
Our government already features a "public option" in another extremely important societal domain. While it may not be perfect, most Americans take advantage of this "public option," and despite the fact that it is completely funded by taxpayer money, it must function according to both federal and state mandates and regulations, and if there is failure to meet government standards, funding can be cut, sanctions can be levied, and reorganization can be mandated, up to and including complete bureaucratic takeover, I have never heard anyone denounce it as "socialist." Nor has it done anything to harm or discourage private competition. There are private institutions that function within this domain, and they do just fine, and they provide a high-quality option for those that can afford the cost. For those who cannot, the "public option" provides a quality alternative to millions of Americans, who have for generations benefited greatly from its existence.
I am of course speaking of the United States education system. The "public option" may not be perfect, but we all seemed to do just fine with it, as have millions of other Americans, many of whom are certain to be among those railing against our President and his health care agenda. Perhaps it should be pointed out to these people that, along with giving up SS & Medicare, unless they are willing to pull their children out of public schools, renounce any degrees they may have earned from any public education institution, at any level, and re-educate themselves and their children through private schools & universities, they should shut their _______ mouths about wanting to deny millions of Americans the same opportunities for obtaining quality health care as already exist for obtaining quality education.
But that's just my opinion.


Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Oh my! That is AWESOME!!! Can I link to this on my facebook and myspace? This is great!

pamwax said...

Be my guest. He says he wants it out there. He really needs to start his own blog because he writes so well.

Michael Graham said...

Mom Waxman: I hate to say it this way, but there is a very simple response to your arguments...our education system is State run, primarily (although not always entirely) State funded, and administered locally. The Federal government has very little to do with it, absent being able to pass some regulatory requirements (i.e. No Child Left Behind, etc.)
I am a state's rights person...and would therefore have no problem with Texas or New Mexico or any other state starting a healthcare program of whatever form that their consituients allow then to do, a la Massachusetts. You can see a summary of the Mass plan, enacted in 2006, if you simply Google is basically mandated coverage, fully subsidized up to 100% of the poverty level, partially up to 300%, none after that I am aware of. State run and funded universal care.

Point being...we have 50 states that can choose to solve this problem the way they see fit...but that is not justification for a National system. Quite frankly, it is an argument against a national system as the state's are much better equipped to address their citizens issues than the Feds.

We would still need some things at a national level..For example, other state and healthcare facilities in other states should be required to honor Mass's plan, or any other plan..I think that would improve quality of life, potentially quality of care, and almost certainly save money.

Michael Graham said...

Oh, sorry Andy...I should have said: Andy and Mom Waxman...:)



Jeannie said...

Hi Andy!! Thank you for your post on your mom's blog.

It angered me when Representative Dr. Charles Boustany said, "Replacing your family’s current health care with government-run health care is not the answer." This isn't The Obama Plan at all. The Plan's main objective is about making health care insurance accessible for those who have no insurance. For those lucky Americans who are currently insured, The GOP Solution actually agrees with The Obama Plan in many ways (such as having access to coverage, regardless of prior conditions).

"Since I know that all of you, like me, have friends on the 'bash Obamacare' side of this issue..."

It will please you to know that I do not know of any friends that oppose The Obama Plan.

I'd like someone opposed to the plan, because they feel it is socialist, to provide me with specific reasons to their belief. So far, the only reason I have heard is, "You lie."

pamwax said...

You have a point Mike and I really don't care who does it. But as someone who for the last 10 years has had to depend on foreign countries for affordable medicine and health care, someone needs to do something. Gov. Perry has had 10 years to do something for us.....

pamwax said...

Jeannie you are a love. I am sure when Andy gets home he will respond to all....

David said...

All I know is that I wish I was smarter so I could help decide what the right answer is. There are so many moving parts in this debate, it's hard to determine which way is up.
I can see value in ideas from both the right (tort reform, removing interstate barriers) and the left (public option, cost controls). There is also too much stupidity from the right ("I told you so" politics) and the left (let's just spend our way out of this).
I'm tired of the media airing whatever the current squeaky-wheel happens to be. I only have a limited amount of time during the day to hear what the decision makers are discussing, and all I hear is "You Lie", "Obamacare sucks", "Public Option or Nothing". I'd like to hear more of what the serious-minded policy makers are discussing.
If the answer is state-based, national, all private... I really don't care. I just want the decisions to be made for the right reasons, and the right outcome. I agree with what Obama said about what the ultimate goal is. Now can we just get politics out of the way and do something?? I mean everyone... seriously... If you don't have a good idea, then shut the hell up!! (I'm not really directing that towards anyone here... Mom ;)... just in general)

waxmaniac said...

States may run their individual educations systems, but public education is a federal mandate, states do receive federal funds for public education, and schools can be reorganized, taken over, or shut down completely if they fail to meet federal NCLB standards, and those standards supercede any set by individual states. We have schools here in El Paso facing that very issue; they have met state standards, but not federal, and they are in danger of facing federal sanctions, so I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that "the Federal government has very little to do with" public education in this country.

I would have no problem with states overseeing their own health care systems; actually, that pretty much happens now (hence the no competition across state lines problem), and millions of Americans who can get a decent education can't get decent health care. Without a federal mandate for reform, I don't believe reform will take place, and I hope you'll agree that our health care system is badly in need of reform.

And David, the media just continues to prove what the great Albert Einstein observed. "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

waxmaniac said...

More fuel to the fire (because I'm off work for 2 weeks and bored right now, & I really enjoy pushing people's buttons).

Our federal government has a constitutional obligation to reform our current health care system. This obligation was written into the U.S. Constitution by our founding fathers; in fact, it's in the first paragraph of that document.

And I quote: "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Promote the general welfare." Hmmm. Seems to me that ensuring that every American has access to decent, affordable health care falls under the umbrella of our federal government promoting "the general welfare" of "we, the people." Sort of like it already does for education, communication (anyone ever heard of the U.S. Postal Service), retirement, and other areas of "general welfare" that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

In none of these areas does the presence of a governmentally controlled entity interfere with the ability of private entities to exist and flourish. Nor are any of us forced to use the services of these governmentally controlled entities if we don't want to. No one is stopping us from putting our kids in private schools, shipping our packages via UPS, or funding our own retirement through Edward Jones.

So someone really needs to explain to me why it's okay for our federal government to have a hand in all of these other things that promote the "general welfare" of "we, the people," but its involvment in health care will turn us all into goose-stepping socialists at the mercy of rationed care and death panels.

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