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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Why do we trust the governement to run the military, police, fire department....

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Author Topic: Why do we trust the governement to run the military, police, fire department....
Viking_Longship
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public schools, public lands, highway department, the Department of Homeland Security, ect but a government run health care program in unaceptably socialist? It's not lke we couldn't privatize every single one of those services.

I know it's an over-simplification of the issue but it still puzzles me as to why private health care is such a sacred cow.

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stormghost
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In many of those cases, government is providing services that secure for private citizens the liberty to pursue their happiness -- which is why "governments are instituted among men." In other cases, government is providing services that private citizens cannot provide for themselves -- which is a legitimate function of government.

I haven't seen anyone make the case that health care should fall into either of those categories.

Best,
G

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PSRT
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quote:
"I haven't seen anyone make the case that health care should fall into either of those categories."
Seems odd to me you've never seen a case made it falls into those categories. Maybe you mean you don't agree with those cases?

Either way, it seems pretty obvious to me that without health, you do not have the liberty to pursue your own happiness. And for millions of people, the ability to purchase health care is beyond their means, so they cannot secure the service for themselves.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"In many of those cases, government is providing services that secure for private citizens the liberty to pursue their happiness"
Protecting people from burglars or fire is different from protecting people from diseases and other ailments only in one single respect:

Prosperous people have more to lose from crimes against property (e.g. arson, theft, copyright infringement) than poor people do. But all people are equally threatened from disease and other ailments.

Despite therefore propagandistic silliness about "securing liberty" the actual practical difference is about whether "government is instituted among men" in order to serve the wealthy, or in order to serve all.

If someone believes government is meant to serve the wealthy, it's therefore inefficient to spend public money on healthcare -- public money are most efficiently used to protect the wealthy people's *private* money.

If one believes government is meant to serve all people equally, then it makes just as much sense to provide services against burglars as to provide services against diseases. One can defend both or neither, but not just one and not the other.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Prosperous people have more to lose from crimes against property (e.g. arson, theft, copyright infringement) than poor people do. But all people are equally threatened from disease and other ailments.

That's not quite true actually, poor people are more are risk from disease that wealthy people are. Closer, less well kept living conditions, poorer nutrition, less ability to quickly treat and mitigate the effects, etc... Not to mention a much large strike against their ability to actually meet ends meet if they're not able to work for a day or two (Especially compared to the far end of the spectrum where it takes effort to signicantly lower income because it comes from investments rather than labor)
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
In many of those cases, government is providing services that secure for private citizens the liberty to pursue their happiness -- which is why "governments are instituted among men." In other cases, government is providing services that private citizens cannot provide for themselves -- which is a legitimate function of government.
That actually is a very good argument FOR socialized medicine. Medical care without insurance has become prohibitively expensive. Medical insurance is prohibatively expensive unless provided by an employer. Thus this definately falls into the category of a liberty denying (the dead have no freedom) issue that citizens can no longer provide for themselves.


The root word of Liberty is, if I recall my HS latin, "liber" which means life.

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IrishTD
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VL -- which of those would you say was run well?

Maybe police and fire which are far more locally based than the others you list. Some schools are, but those are generally in wealthier areas.

To use one of your examples, the military, I think most of us would say they are reasonably well run, but they have their own issues with procurement, developing new systems, base realignment, etc. I'd estimate that most of these problems can be pretty quickly traced back to Congress though -- and that's who would set up/run the health care system.

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KidB
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quote:
I'd estimate that most of these problems can be pretty quickly traced back to Congress though -- and that's who would set up/run the health care system
David Brin said something on his blog recently - why this irrational fear of government bureaucracy, but not corporate bureaucracy?

Also, why this constant misreading of what "single payer" healhcare means?

In most single payer systems - Canada, Japan, etc. - most doctors have private offices, and hospitals are privately owned. "Single payer" just means that the govt pays the bills directly, rather than though a for-profit middle man. It's cheaper because there's less bureaucracy. But healthcare remains privately run, and decisions privately made.

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RickyB
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"I haven't seen anyone make the case that health care should fall into either of those categories."

You ain't been looking. Affordable health care is necessary to pursue life liberty and the pursuit. Vital. It is also self evidently something many people cannot afford themselves in the market. So it would seem to qualify for both your criteria.

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KidB
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At any rate, "THE" government does not run the police, fire dept., etc. These groups run them selves. It's not some Soviet-style centrally planned system, after all.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Protecting people from burglars or fire is different from protecting people from diseases and other ailments only in one single respect:

Prosperous people have more to lose from crimes against property (e.g. arson, theft, copyright infringement) than poor people do. But all people are equally threatened from disease and other ailments.

Errr... well, yes or no. You're quite right that rich people technically have "more to lose" but I am quite confident that poor people are victimized far more than rich people. Stopping to think about this rationally for a moment, people living in poor neighbourhoods are much more frequently victimized both in respect of property crimes (burglery, theft, vandalism) and crimes against the person (rape, murder, robbery) than rich people living in rich communities.

Rich people, incidentally, can pay private security, which they frequently do. Only poor people are entirely reliant on the police.

Perhaps it is you who are being taken in by propaganda in this particular instance.

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Gaoics79
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I'd also add that even rich people in the USA are frequently unable to pay their medical bills. Look what happened to Christopher Reeves. Poor people also get free healthcare, so they are not really the issue that you presume. It's really typically the middle classes that get screwed the most.

A more accurate assessment would be that your current healthcare system favours the healthy more than anyone else, and perhaps the super-wealthy that make even rich people look poor.

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