Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To be Young and Naive

Oh, and stupid too:

An unruly Little Rock crowd heckled and shouted at two Arkansas Democratic congressmen Wednesday, accusing them of supporting a government-backed health plan that would take away Americans' personal choice and freedom.

At one point, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross sat with his head in his hands while the crowd shouted. He and fellow Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder told audience members at a forum at Arkansas Children's Hospital that they wouldn't support a completely government-run, single-payer health insurance plan.

No, not Ross or Snyder. I'll take their claims at face value, least for now when it comes to their stance on the proposed health-care plan trumpeted by the WH and being discussed in the House and Senate.

No, the stupidity I'm referring to is that of the young and inexperienced. From the end of the article:

Though much of the crowd opposed Obama's plan, there were a few supporters.

"I'm a huge Obama fan," college student Jacob Kauffman told the crowd, which responded with a smattering of applause and a few chants of "Get a job."

Kauffman continued, "I was at mad at (Ross and Snyder) for not standing up for stronger health care reform. But after seeing this crowd tonight, I'm pleased with seeing what you have done. I've rather have you two overlook my health care plan than any private insurance bureaucrat any day."

Ah, to be young and naive...and stupid. I've got somewhere around 20 years on you Jacob. Learn from your elders, the last thing you want is the Gubmint in charge of anything complex. For details, give me a buzz and I'll fill you in on my ongoing feud with California's EDD (Hint: If we ran our business as poorly as the state manages this high-profile agency we'd have been out of business even before we began).

The story doesn't mention where Jacob attends school. My guess is the State system somewhere. Regardless, if this is really what he thinks dude needs his money back; he's getting screwed.


Jacob Kauffman said...

Hey, how you doing? Didn't have to go and call me names did you? Oh well, I guess your radical fringe rejected compassionate conservatism when Obama got elected.

I've heard this inexperienced argument before. The bizarre thing is that there are obviously people older than me and you who favor health care reform. So the age argument is really quite stupid.

I don't know if your aware that the government runs a number of things pretty well: fire, police, streets, clean water, etc. You think they can't run something complex? Are you aware of NASA, the Energency Agency, our varying Scientific agencies? I'm not too great at science since I'm so young. But I do know that we have some very complex things going on under government supervision. Most pharmaceutical developments are funded by government grants. Without government interference pharmaceutical company funds alone would be nothing in comparison to current and beneficial government involvement. I'm pretty sure if they can run an army they can run a check-up. But the real argument is that public option health care doesn't require much government involvement. Your arguments are misguided because they focus on a single payer system not a public option. In the public option nothing in the day-to-day function of the health system will have government involvement. The public option is nothing more than a new insurance agency address for doctors to send the bill to. It'll actually be less interference between doctor and patient than the private model. Instead of having to deal with private insurance bureacrats who are charged with denying clients coverage their would be government workers whose goal wouldn't be allowed to discriminate against preconditions, experimental procedures, or preventable problems.

I attend Hendrix College. I know, it's a bastion of liberalism where I'm brainwashed. Go ahead and disregard thinking about my previous arguments because you can just say I'm a liberal from Hendrix. I don't know if your aware that although the state system might have signficant flaws it's still capable of producing highly qualified students.

Paul Hogue said...


Thanks for the response. I'll do my best to respond to a couple of your points.

First off, as for the tone of the post I'm afraid it is typical of what goes on most of the time on the internet--we tend to say things online and in ways we wouldn't normally do if we were talking face 2 face or in a group of folks. On that point, guilty as charged.

You've correctly surmised that the point of my post was to address the experience argument. Based on what I could glean of your situation, my best guess is that I've been living and working and dealing with local, state and even the Federal government for longer than you've been alive. That's not meant as any sort of slam but as an objective fact--I have more experience with government than you do at this time and that informs my opinions about what government can and/or should do.

I and many conservatives tend to believe that government isn't as good at delivering services on a large scale as others believe. You are correct to point out that government is quite good at doing certain things.

I would ask you though, your examples of fire, police and water---those are local services provided by municipal agencies or even private entities. Would they be delivered as efficiently if say local policing was administered by a Federal force run out of Washington D.C.?

And the health care reforms as currently proposed calls for additional Federal regulation and administration. Will that be more or less efficient?

Your contention that the public-option is not and will not lead to a single-payer system is simply incorrect IMO. The President as well as other influential members of Congress have said specifically that they desire to get to a single-payer system and that a public-option is the gateway.

Your assertion that the public option won't affect private insurers (tacit to your argument) I believe is simply incorrect. This dynamic already exists in insurance markets.

Are you aware that USAA offers Fire & Casualty insurance to current and former military members? In markets where they compete with private insurers, their rates drastically undercut those of the private companies because the USAA rates are government subsidized.

If eligibility were expanded, you would see far more people insuring their vehicles with USAA and such a move would drastically affect private insurers across the country.

The Federal government setting reimbursement rates and then subsidizing premiums in the public option--ostensibly to compete--will, make no mistake, drastically affect private health insurers. It's simple economics.

Where the rubber meets the road, if the reform as drawn up in the House and Senate will change everybody's health care. Many with insurance they like will lose that coverage. Employers will be incentivized to select the public option.

The left has made access to health care the central issue of this debate for years. If that is really the crux of the issue, why blow up the system rather than target reforms to accomplish the stated goal?

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